Posts Tagged ‘Avalon Hill’

CFR-Detroit 2019 Race #4: British Grand Prix

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

In a (boardgame) race that was held on Friday, May 10, 2019, Mickey Akins came from 13th place on the starting grid to pass the other 12 drivers to win the British Grand Prix. Mark Moellering and Mike Cook were the other podium finishers, in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. The race was contested at Pandemonium Games & Hobbies in Garden City, Michigan. Eleven of the 13 cars finished the race. This was the 4th (of 10) races of the 2019 CFR-Detroit racing season.

The race was on the Brands Hatch track. Our track was based on the old Avalon Hill Brands Hatch track design, except we modified the 2nd corner on the track to make it more logical than was its Avalon Hill design.

The modified Brands Hatch track

The modified Brands Hatch track.

We had not used the Brands Hatch track since our old Advanced Speed Circuit days in the late 1980s/early 1990s, so it needed a good going over. The lane and space dividing lines were originally painted red, and they had faded over the years to be now almost impossible to see. So those lane and space lines were re-painted in yellow. We added the red-and-yellow stripes to mark which side of the track is the inside at any particular point on the track. We also added the orange stripes alongside the track to denote the pit stop spaces. We also went over the numbers in the corners, and re-drew the red cornering arrows.

As a reminder, drivers bid for starting position by bidding some of their wear and/or skill chits, with each wear counting as 1.0 and each skill counting as 0.5 towards their qualifying bid.

Qualifying

Mark Moellering (4 wear + 18 skill) took his 2nd consecutive pole position with a bid of 13.0. Bill Worrel (6 wear + 12 skill) and Garry Kaluzny (3 wear + 18 skill) each bid 12.0. Kaluzny then rolled ’95’ on the ensuing percentage dice roll to break the tie, but Worrel rolled ’98’ and thus Worrel started 2nd and Kaluzny was relegated to 3rd. Richard White (5 wear + 13 skill) and Mike Cook (6 wear + 11 skill) each bid 11.5, with White rolling ’38’ to start 4th, while Cook rolled ’02’ to start 5th. Jack Beckman (5 wear + 7 skill) bid 8.5 to start 6th. Gary Sturgeon (0 wear + 15 skill) bid 7.5 and so he started in 7th position.

Greg Lim (5 wear + 2 skill) slotted into the 8th spot with a bid of 6.0. There were two bids of 5.0: Joel Lauder (1 wear + 8 skill) and Mike St. Peter (4 wear + 2 skill). Lauder rolled ’78’ to start 9th, and St. Peter rolled ’26’ to start 10th. Jim Robinson (0 wear + 7 skill) bid only 3.5, so he began 11th. Aric Parr (0 wear + 5 skill) started 12th with a bid of 2.5. Mickey Akins (0 wear + 3 skill) bid 1.5, so he began in the 13th and final position on the grid.

The starting grid for the 2019 British Grand Prix with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
 4 Mark Moellering (Tyrrell)        100   20    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 1 Bill Worrel (Ferrari)            100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    20   140  5x   5x   soft
 7 Richard White (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)          100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 2 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
12 Gary Sturgeon (Camel Lotus)      100   40    20   140  5x   4x   soft
 0 Greg Lim (Williams)               60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 3 Joel Lauder (Tyrrell)             60   40    40   160  5x   3x   hard
 9 Mike St. Peter (McLaren)          60   40    40   140  5x   4x   hard
 6 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   40    40   140  5x   4x   hard
10 Aric Parr (McLaren)               60   40    60   140  5x   3x   hard
27 Mickey Akins (Fiat Ferrari)       60   40    40   160  5x   3x   hard

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers (per lap); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

The starting grid at Brands Hatch

The starting grid at Brands Hatch: 1st row: Mark Moellering (blue Tyrrell) and Bill Worrel (red Ferrari); 2nd row: Garry Kaluzny (inside, #8) and Richard White (outside, #7); 3rd row: Mike Cook (yellow Lotus) and Jack Beckman (red Ferrari); 4th row: Gary Sturgeon (yellow Lotus) and Greg Lim (white/yellow/blue Williams); 5th row: Joel lauder (blue/white Tyrrell) and Mike St. Peter (orange McLaren); 6th row: Jim Robinson (white/yellow/blue Williams) and Aric Parr (orange McLaren); 7th row: Mickey Akins (red/white Fiat Ferrari).

1st Lap

At the start, the front row cars of Moellering and Worrel both zoomed away at 120 mph (they both used a wear to increase their start speeds by 20 mph each as they were both on soft tires.)  The 2nd row Marlboro McLarens of Kaluzny and White also each used a wear to increase their start speeds to 80 mph. Mike Cook was then balked — he plotted 100 mph (his car’s normal start speed) but had to slow down to 80 mph due to the McLaren roadblock ahead of him. (Hey — it’s not like the McLarens were going slow — they both increased their start speeds!) Beckman used a wear to increase his Ferrari’s start speed to 80 mph, so he kept pace with Cook’s Lotus. From the outside of row 5, St. Peter made a successful dice roll to increase his starting speed to 80 mph. Lauder, on the inside of row 5, failed his -1 start speed roll, mis-shifting and so he started at only 40 mph, 20 mph below his basic starting speed. That allowed Parr to pass Lauder into 10th place when Parr successfully made his start speed dice roll. Jim Robinson rolled his start speed increase attempt using two -1 skill modifiers, but he rolled an ’11’ which became a ‘9’ and so he too mis-shifted and only started at 40 mph instead of the 80 mph he had hoped for. Akins, from the 7th row, was content to start at his normal start speed of 60 mph; that allowed him to come up on Robinson’s left side.

And away they go!

And away they go! At the start, Worrel and Moellering have opened up a 3-space lead, with Worrel taking the inside as Moellering chose to take the cornering arrow.

The cars roared around Paddock Hill Bend, Druids, and then Graham Hill Bend, with Moellering and Worrel racing wheel-to-wheel, each trying to wrest the lead from the other. When they got to the Surtees corner, Moellering had got in front of Worrel, and then two Marlboro McLarens of Kaluzny and White were right behind the leading duo. Then 3 spaces back came the rest of the pack.

Moellering leads at Surtees

Moellering leads at Surtees from Worrel, Kaluzny, and White; then came Beckman, Cook, St. Peter, Sturgeon, Parr, Lim, Akins, Robinson, and Lauder.

The cars raced down Pilgrim’s Drop, and then through Hawthorn’s. Halfway through the 1st lap, it was still Moellering leading from Worrel, then Kaluzny, White, Beckman, Cook, St. Peter, Sturgeon, Parr, Kim, Robinson, Akins, and Lauder.

Then at the Westfield corner, Worrel had to slow down. He had used all 9 of his -1 skill markers and also his only -3 skill marker in bidding for starting positions, so he had no skill chits remaining. He rolled an unmodifed deceleration roll to get down to 120 mph, and then he rolled an unmodifed chance roll for the corner. He crashed, becoming the first retirement from the race, and classified in 13th place.

Moellering leads at Westfield

Moellering leads at Westfield (blue car in upper-right corner; however, Worrel’s Ferrari crashed at that corner (upside-down car next to Moellering. White and Kaluzny and now 2nd and 3rd, Beckman 4th, Cook 5th, then came St. Peter, Parr, Sturgeon, Robinson, Lim, Akins, and Lauder.

When Parr got to the Dingle Dell corner, he failed a deceleration roll. Parr’s deceleration rating was reduced from 60 to 40 mph. Moellering pulled out a 5-space lead over Kaluzny just before Moellering went into the Clark corner. On his next move, Moellering pulled into the pits, but Kaluzny was able to move at 140 mph and was then able to pit on the same game-turn, although Kaluzny pitted 5 spaces behind Moellering. On the next game-turn, the cars of White, Sturgeon, Parr, Cook, and Beckman also pitted. Then on the next game-turn, the cars of St. Peter and Lim pitted just as Moellering and Kaluzny were leaving the pits. Not pitting were Robinson, Akins, and Lauder.

Pandemonium in the pits

Pandemonium in the pits (what did you expect at a place named Pandemonium Games?) Robinson has taken the lead on the track due to his not pitting, with Akins and Moellering right behind.

The official order at the end of the 1st lap was: Moellering (0); White (+2); Robinson (+8); Akins (+9); St. Peter (+5); Lauder (+3); Kaluzny (-4); Parr (+4); Sturgeon (-2); Cook (-5); Beckman (-5); and Lim (-4). Worrel (-11) was classified 13th due to his DNF because of the crash. The numbers in parentheses indicate how many positions a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position.

When the pit stops were are resolved, the actual running order on the track was: Robinson; Akins; Moellering; Lauder; Kaluzny; White; Parr; Sturgeon; Cook; Beckman; St. Peter, and Lim.

2nd Lap

As the cars rounded the Surtees corner for the 2nd time, Robinson and Akins were sidepod-to-sidepod through Pilgrim’s Drop. Four spaces behind came Moellering, Kaluzny, Lauder, and White. Another 3 spaces back were Sturgeon, Cook, St. Peter, Beckman, and Parr, and Lim was another 2 spaces behind Parr.

At the halfway mark of the race

At the halfway mark of the race, Akins (red & white car at the upper left) has taken the lead from Robinson (white car on the red arrow over the 80 space). The rest of the pack is strung out behind.

Then at Pilgrim’s Drop, Parr forced an unblocked pass on his teammate St. Peter. Parr and Cook both successfully rolled unmodified to increase their top speed on that same straightaway. But then at Dingle Dell corner, Parr again failed an unmodified deceleration dice roll; his brakes had now failed and he retired from the race in 12th place. Then St. Peter spun at Stirling’s corner just as Akins and Robinson had pulled into the pits.

Akins leads the 2nd lap

Akins leads the 2nd lap as he pulls into the pits. Robinson has also pitted, and St. Peter (orange car) has spun (upper left of picture).

The only other cars that pitted at the end of the 2nd lap were those of Lauder and St. Peter; the other cars all stayed on the track.

The official order at the end of the 2nd lap was: Akins (+12); White (+2); Moellering (-2); Sturgeon (+3); Kaluzny (-2); Cook (-1); Beckman (-1); Lim (0); Robinson (+2); St. Peter (0); and Lauder (-2). Parr was classified 12th when his brakes failed.

When the 2nd round of pit stops was over, though, the running order on the track was: White; Moellering; Sturgeon; Kaluzny; Beckman; Cook; Akins; Lim; Robinson; Lauder, and St. Peter.

3rd Lap

As the pack reached Graham Hill Bend early in the 3rd lap, White spun his car. He had been leading at the time, but dropped to 4th after recovering from the spin.

Richard White spins at Graham Hill Bend

Richard White (backwards facing white & orange McLaren) spins at Graham Hill Bend. Note that Mickey Akins is currently 7th.

Moellering then found himself in the lead, and he pulled out a 3-space lead over the now 2nd-place Kaluzny coming out of the Surtees corner. As the pack passed through Hawthorn’s corner for the last time, there was but a half-lap left to race. Moellering still led by two spaces from the pack of Kaluzny, Sturgeon, Cook, White, Beckman, and Akins, then behind that pack came Robinson, Lim, and Lauder, and then another 13 spaces back came St. Peter.

Going into the Westfield corner, Akins was 7th; coming out of Westfield, he was in 4th place. The rest of the pack had now caught up with Moellering. While most of the leading cars were discovering they had very few remaining wear, Akins still had a comfortable amount of wear. At Dingle Dell, Akins moved into 3rd, alongside the 2nd-place Cook.

Akins moves into 3rd place

Akins moves into 3rd place. The running order is: Moellering, Cook, Akins, Kaluzny, Sturgeon, Beckman, White, Robinson, Lauder, Lim, and St. Peter (not in the picture).

At the next corner, Stirling’s, Akins pulled up next to the race leader Moellering, and then Akins passed Moellering for the lead whilst on Clearways. Coming through the final corner, the Clark Curve, Akins was 2-spaces clear from Moellering.

Akins takes the checkered flag

Akins (red & white Fiat Ferrari) takes the checkered flag to win the British Grand Prix.

At the checkered flag, it was Akins winning by 4 spaces from Moellering and Cook. The two team Marlboro McLarens of White and Kaluzny were drag-racing for 4th and 5th place. Kaluzny damaged his engine by over-revving it, and so White was 4th and Kaluzny had to settle for 5th. Jim Robinson came home in 6th, and Sturgeon was 7th. Greg Lim snagged 8th place, the final points paying position. Beckman was 9th, and Lauder was 10th. Lauder had tried a forced-pass on Robinson at the finish line, but was blocked. Lauder could not slow down, and so he spun right at the finish line. But Lauder kept his 10th place, because 11th place, St. Peter, was 8 spaces behind at that moment.

The official order at the finish of the British Grand Prix at Brands Hatch: 1st-Mickey Akins (+12); 2nd-Mark Moellering (-1); 3rd-Mike Cook (+2); 4th-Richard White (0); 5th-Garry Kaluzny (-2); 6th-Jim Robinson (+5); 7th-Gary Sturgeon (0); 8th-Greg Lim (0); 9th-Jack Beckman (-3); 10th-Joel Lauder (-1); 11th-Mike St. Peter (). Two DNFs were classified: Aric Parr (0) was 12th (brakes); and Bill Worrel (-11) was 13th (accident).

Aftermath

Points awarded at the 2019 British Grand Prix: Akins 15; Moellering 12; Cook 10; White 8; Kaluzny 6; Robinson 4; Sturgeon 2, and Lim 1.

Team points awarded at the 2019 British Grand Prix: Fiat Ferrari 15; Marlboro McLaren 14; Tyrrell 12; Camel Lotus 12; Williams 5.

The points standings of the 2019 CFR-Detroit season (after 4 of 10 races):

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1T  Richard White (Marlboro McLaren)  36
  1T  Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  36
  3   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           35
  4   Bill Worrel (Ferrari)             30
  5   Aric Parr (McLaren)               22
  6   Jim Robinson (Williams)           16
  7   Mickey Akins (Fiat Ferrari)       15
  8   Mark Moellering (Tyrrell)         14
  9   Greg Lim (Williams)                8
 10   Gary Sturgeon (Camel Lotus)        7
 11T  Joel Lauder (Tyrrell)              4
 11T  Jim Landis (Benetton)              4
 13T  Mike St. Peter (McLaren)           2
 13T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             2
 15   Brian Robinson (Benetton)          1

Drivers can only count their 7 best finishes out of the 10 races.

The team championship standings of the 2019 CFR-Detroit season (after 4 of 10 races):

Place Team              Points
  1   Marlboro McLaren    72
  2   Camel Lotus         42
  3   Ferrari             32
  4T  McLaren             24
  4T  Williams            24
  6   Tyrrell             18
  7   Fiat Ferrari        15
  8   Benetton             5

Teams can only count their 2 best finishing cars from each race.

Another Thought

It seems at most of our CFR-Detroit races, there is wild bidding to ensure starting up front. Most cars also start on soft tires to then can spend a wear to automatically increase their starting speed without having to roll dice (which could result in a stall!) Then it is a race on the first lap to get into the pits before anyone else, switch to hard tires, and try to eke out two laps on your remaining wear. It was refreshing to see Mickey Akins reverse that strategy. He bid only 3 skill, and started last on hard tires. He carefully nursed his wear through the first two laps, then pitted at the end of the 2nd lap. He emerged on soft tires, and while he had to pick his way through several cars that had got in front on him during his pit stop, has was able to use his extra wear on the final lap to guide his car to victory.

Akins set the CFR-Detroit record for winning from the lowest starting position (13th place). The previous record was winning from 7th place, by Jack Beckman at Abu Dhabi in 2018.

The next (5th) race of the 2019 CFR-Detroit racing season was on Saturday, July 13, at Guild of Blades in Clawson, Michigan. It was the Michigan Grand Prix, raced on the downtown Detroit track.

CFR-Detroit 2019 Race #3: Hungarian Grand Prix

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

The 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix was held on Saturday, April 13, 2019, at RIW Hobbies & Games in Livonia, Michigan. Fourteen drivers contested the race, and at the end it was Bill Worrel taking the victory at the checkered flag. It was Worrel’s 2nd victory of the three CFR-Detroit races so far in 2019. Other podium finishers were Garry Kaluzny in 2nd place, and Mike Cook in 3rd place. Twelve of the 14 cars that started the race crossed the finish line.

The race was held on the Hungaroring track of a Garry Kaluzny design from the mid-1980s. The old Detroit Advanced Speed Circuit group used to race on the Formula 1 tracks a year after the tracks were raced in real life, and as Avalon Hill had not yet published the Hungaroring track, it was designed locally.

Hungaroring track

The Hungaroring track as used by the Detroit Championship Formula Racing players. Note that Bill Worrel also won on this track in 1987. This track was originally designed as only “2-wide,” but a 3rd lance was recently added on the start/finish straight.

As a reminder, drivers bid for starting position by bidding some of their wear and/or skill chits, with each wear counting as 1.0 and each skill counting as 0.5 towards their qualifying bid.

Qualifying

Mark Moellering (7 wear + 8 skill) earned his 1st pole position of the 2019 season, with a high bid of 11.0. Bill Worrel (0 wear + 20 skill) started 2nd with a bid of 10.0. Garry Kaluzny (3 wear + 13 skill) started 3rd with a bid of 9.5. Richard White (4 wear + 10 skill) bid 9.0 to start 4th. Jim Robinson (2 wear + 12 skill) and Mike Cook (2 wear + 12 skill) each bid 8.0. Jim Robinson rolled a percentage dice roll of ‘100’ to Cook’s roll of ’84,’ and so J. Robinson started 5th, and Cook started 6th. Gary Sturgeon (3 wear + 8 skill) started 7th with a bid of 7.0.

Greg Lim (5 wear + 0 skill) bid 5.0 to start 8th. Ninth on the grid was Brian Robinson (0 wear + 5 skill) with a bid of 2.5. Aric Parr (2 wear + 0 skill) and Jack Beckman (0 wear + 4 skill) each bid 2.0, with Parr starting 10th after rolling ’86’ to Beckman’s roll of ’35,’ thus relegating Beckman to 11th on the grid. Jim Landis and Mike St. Peter each bid nothing. Landis started 12th with a roll of ’43,’ and St. Peter started 13th after rolling ’08.’ Mickey Akins arrived just as the bidding for qualifying was finishing, so he was added to the field in 14th position as a provisional starter. This was Akins’ return to boardgame racing competition. Although it was Akins’ first official race using the Championship Formula Racing rules, he is a past champion of the old Detroit area Advanced Speed Circuit races.

The starting grid for the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
 3 Mark Moellering (Tyrrell)         60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 1 Bill Worrel (Ferrari)            100   20    20   140  5x   5x   hard
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 7 Richard White (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 6 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)          100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
12 Gary Sturgeon (Camel Lotus)      100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 0 Greg Lim (Williams)               60   60    40   160  5x   2x   soft
 5 Brian Robinson (Benetton)         20   60    60   140  5x   3x   soft
10 Aric Parr (McLaren)               60   60    60   140  5x   2x   hard
 2 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)             60   60    60   140  5x   2x   hard
 9 Mike St. Peter (McLaren)          20   40    40   140  5x   5x   hard
27 Mickey Akins (Fiat Ferrari)       60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers (per lap); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

Starting grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix

Starting grid for the Hungarian Grand Prix: 1st row: Mark Moellering (left) and Bill Worrel (right); 2nd row: Garry Kaluzny (#8) and Richard White (#7); 3rd row: Jim Robinson and Mike Cook; 4th row: Gary Sturgeon and Greg Lim; 5th row: Brian Robinson and Aric Parr; 6th row: Jack Beckman and Jim Landis; 7th row: Mike St. Peter and Mickey Akins. Note the temporary track section used to extend the straight for the start.

1st Lap

At the start, Worrel wasn’t content to move at his 100 mph start speed; he wanted to try to move faster. But since he was on hard tires, he couldn’t use a wear to increase his start speed; instead, he used two -1 skill modifiers and rolled the dice. He rolled an ’11’ which was modified to a ‘9,’ but that meant he mis-shifted and so he started at 80 mph, 20 mph slower than his normal start speed. Pole-sitter Mark Moellering, on soft tires, used a -3 skill marker and rolled a ‘7’ to increase his start speed to 80 mph. That meant that Moellering moved before Worrel (since both cars plotted the same speed and Moellering was to the inside), and both cars moved 4 spaces down the track. The two Marlboro McLarens of Kaluzny and White each paid a wear to start at 80 mph, keeping pace with the front-row cars with a move of 4 spaces each. Cook moved at his start speed of 100 mph, so he pulled up next to the McLarens of Kaluzny and White. Jim Robinson spent a wear to start at 80 mph, moving directly behind Kaluzny. Then Sturgeon, from the next row back, started at 100 mph to move up next to J. Robinson. Lim used a wear to start at 80 mph, moving behind his teammate J. Robinson.

Brian Robinson used a wear to increase his car’s start speed from 20 to 40 mph, but he was passed by the cars of Parr (started at 80 mph after making a -1 start speed dice roll) and Beckman (used a wear to start at 80 mph). Moving up alongside of B. Robinson were the cars of Landis (started at 60 mph) and Akins (started at 80 mph after making a -1 start speed dice roll). St. Peter was content to start at his car’s 20 mph start speed.

The start at the Hungarian GP

The start at the Hungarian GP: The running order is Moellering, Worrel, Kaluzny, White, Cook, J. Robinson, Sturgeon, Lim, Parr, Beckman, B. Robinson, Landis, Akins, and St. Peter (the orange blur in the background).

The pack charged toward the 1st corner, with the lead 10 cars all bunched up.

The pack bunches up at the first corner

The pack bunches up at the first corner; Moellering still leads, and the McLarens of Kaluzny and White have made a Ferrari sandwich with Worrel in the middle.

Moving through the 1st corner, Worrel used 2 wear and rolled a -1 chance. He made the roll, so he took the lead by pulling inside Moellering going into the 2nd corner. Going into the 4th corner, only Worrel and Moellering’s cars were able to accelerate out of that corner, so they were able to open a little lead on the following cars. But Moellering also took the lead back from Worrel, as Worrel’s car only had a 20 mph acceleration rating. At that 4th corner, White made a -3 chance roll, and that allowed him to pass his teammate Kaluzny to take over 3rd place. In that 4th corner, Beckman attempted a forced pass of Cook, but Cook slammed the door. Beckman had to use a wear and took a -2 deceleration roll to slow from 100 to 60 mph.

Half a lap into the race

Half a lap into the race, and Moellering and Worrel lead wheel-to-wheel. Then follow White, Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Cook, Sturgeon, Beckman, Parr, Lim, Akins, Landis, St. Peter, and B. Robinson.

Worrel then moved ahead of Moellering, whose car was very low on wear. Moving in the last half of the 1st lap, Kaluzny managed to re-pass his teammate White, and Sturgeon got around his teammate Cook. By the 2nd to last corner of the 1st lap, Worrel led over Moellering and Kaluzny by 5 spaces. Then when Worrel ducked into the pits he had a lead of 7 spaces.

Worrel pits at the end of Lap 1

Worrel pits at the end of Lap 1 with a 7-space lead over Kaluzny, Moellering, Parr, Cook (who had re-passed his teammate), White, Sturgeon, J. Robinson, Beckman, Lim, Landis, Akins, B. Robinson, and St. Peter.

As Kaluzny, Sturgeon, Cook, Moellering, Parr, and White all came into the pits, Worrel was returning to the track with a fresh set of soft tires. Then as Worrel sped away, the cars of J. Robinson and Beckman also pulled into the pits. Akins retired his car just before the 2nd to last corner of the 1st lap, thereby being classified in 14th place with a DNF.

The pits are very busy

At the end of the 1st lap, the pits are very busy indeed. Worrel speeds away while the cars of Kaluzny, J. Robinson, Beckman, Sturgeon, Cook, Moellering, Parr, and White all renew their rubber.

Lim and B. Robinson did pit as they came through the final corner, but Landis and St. Peter stayed on the track on their hard tires. But B. Robinson retired from the race while his car was in the pits, so he was classified 13th with a DNF.

The official order at the end of the 1st lap was: Worrel (+1) (with a huge lead of 10 spaces); Landis (+10); Kaluzny (0); Sturgeon (+3); Cook (+1); Parr (+4); White (-3); St. Peter (+5); Moellering (-8); Beckman (+1); J. Robinson (-6); and Lim (-4). Brian Robinson (-4) was classified 13th, and Akins (0) was classified 14th. The numbers in parentheses indicate how many positions a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position.

2nd Lap

In the early part of the 2nd lap, Kaluzny (on fresh hard tires) was having a battle with Landis (on worn hard tires) for 2nd place. Then Kaluzny moved at 100 mph through turns 3 and 4, using 2 wears at the turn 3, and then using another 2 wears and making a -3 chance at turn 4. That allowed Kaluzny to get ahead of the pack into a clear 2nd place. Moellering made a forced pass of Sturgeon at turn 3, but their cars bumped and each car had to lose a wear. Parr then failed a deceleration roll (rolling a ’12’) and so had to use a wear to avoid spinning out, and his deceleration was now down to 40 mph for the balance of the race. Halfway through the 2nd lap, and Worrel was one full move ahead of Kaluzny, and Kaluzny was one full move ahead of Landis and everyone else.

Halfway through the race

Halfway through the race, and Mike Cook (baseball cap) and Mike St. Peter (hatless) look on. The running order is: Worrel (red car near the #11 sign); Kaluzny (approaching the corner at the upper left of the picture); Landis; Cook; Moellering; Parr; Sturgeon; White; St. Peter; J. Robinson; Beckman; and Lim.

 

Jim Landis and Jim Robinson

Jim Landis (cap) and Jim Robinson (no cap) plot their next moves near the end of the 2nd lap.

Between the 2nd & 3rd final corners of the 2nd lap, Beckman made a successful uncontested forced pass of J. Robinson. As at the end of the 1st lap, Worrel pulled into the pits, this time with a lead of 8 spaces over Kaluzny. Kaluzny led Parr and Cook by 6 spaces, then came the bunch of Landis, White, Moellering, Sturgeon, St. Peter, J. Robinson, Beckman, and Lim.

Other cars making pit stops at the end of the 2nd lap were Cook, Parr, Landis, White, Moellering, Beckman, J. Robinson, St. Peter, and Lim. Kaluzny stayed on the track, calculating that was his best chance of hanging on to 2nd place. Sturgeon also did not pit the 2nd time around. When Worrel came back onto the track, he was wheel-to-wheel with Kaluzny, but Worrel had a full complement of 15 wear (a fresh set of soft tires) while Kaluzny had only 5 wear remaining (although he would regain 2 wear when he crossed the start/finish line).

The official order at the end of Lap 2: Kaluzny (+2); Worrel (+1); Beckman (+8); Cook (+2); Sturgeon (+2); Parr (+4); Landis (+5); White (-4); Moellering (-8); Lim (-2); J. Robinson (-6); St. Peter (+1).

3rd Lap

Beginning the 3rd lap, Kaluzny briefly battled Worrel for the lead, but then tried to just conserve his wear to try to stay in 2nd place. Halfway through the last lap, 2nd-place Kaluzny had a 7 space lead over 3rd-place Cook. Then came Sturgeon, Parr, Landis, White, Moellering, Beckman, J. Robinson, Lim, and St. Peter. Coming out of turn 4, J. Robinson unsuccessfully tried to force pass his way past Moellering. Moellering made the block, but had to lose a precious wear in the process. Jim Robinson had to spend 2 wear to slow down from 100 to 60 mph. Then St. Peter spun in turn 4.

St. Peter spins in turn 4

St. Peter spins in turn 4; Jim Robinson (white and yellow car) has just been blocked by Moellering (blue car). Worrel leads Kaluzny by 9 spaces, who now leads Cook by only 5 spaces.

At the end of the final lap, Bill Worrel (+1) easily took the checkered flag, winning by a whopping 14 spaces over Kaluzny. At the time Worrel crossed the finish line, Cook had been gaining on Kaluzny in 2nd place, and Cook was only 3 spaces behind Kaluzny.

Worrel wins at Hungary

Worrel wins at Hungary.

Going into the final corner, Kaluzny’s lead over Cook was down to 2 spaces, but Cook didn’t have enough wear left to floor it through that final corner, so Kaluzny (+1) held on to 2nd (by two spaces), and Cook (+3) was 3rd. White (0) took 4th place, 6 spaces behind Cook, and then Parr (+5) was 5th, three spaces behind White. Now came a dogfight for the final points-paying positions. Two spaces behind Parr, Landis (+6) finished in 6th, and he was closely followed in 7th by Beckman (+4) and 8th by Sturgeon (-1). Beckman had stressed his Ferrari’s engine just as he was crossing the finish line. Moellering (-8) was 9th, Lim (-2) was 10th, St. Peter (-2) was 11th, and Jim Robinson (-7) was 12th after spinning in the final corner after rolling an unmodified chance roll of ‘8.’ As noted earlier, Brian Robinson (-4)  and Mickey Akins (0) were 13th and 14th, respectively (both DNFs).

Aftermath

Points awarded at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix: Worrel 15; Kaluzny 12; Cook 10; White 8; Parr 6; Landis 4; Beckman 2; and Sturgeon 1.

Team points awarded at the 2019 Hungarian Grand Prix: Marlboro McLaren 20; Ferrari 17; Camel Lotus 11; McLaren 6; Benetton 4.

The points standings of the 2019 CFR-Detroit season (after 3 of 10 races):

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1T  Bill Worrel (Ferrari)             30
  1T  Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  30
  3   Richard White (Marlboro McLaren)  28 
  4   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           25
  5   Aric Parr (McLaren)               22
  6   Jim Robinson (Williams)           12
  7   Greg Lim (Williams)                7
  8   Gary Sturgeon (Camel Lotus)        5
  9T  Joel Lauder (Tyrrell)              4
  9T  Jim Landis (Benetton)              4
 11T  Mark Moellering (Tyrrell)          2
 11T  Mike St. Peter (McLaren)           2
 11T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             2
 14   Brian Robinson (Benetton)          1
 15   Mickey Akins (Fiat Ferrari)        0

Drivers can only count their 7 best finishes out of the 10 races.

The team championship standings of the 2019 CFR-Detroit season (after 3 of 10 races):

Place Team              Points
  1   Marlboro McLaren    58
  2   Ferrari             32
  3   Camel Lotus         30
  4   McLaren             24
  5   Williams            19
  6   Tyrrell              6
  7   Benetton             5
  8   Fiat Ferrari         0

Teams can only count their 2 best finishing cars from each race.

The 4th race of the 2019 CFR-Detroit racing season was the British Grand Prix, racing on the Brands Hatch track. That race was on Friday, May 10, at Pandemonium Games & Hobbies in Garden City, Michigan.

CFR-Detroit 2019 Race #1 – Australian Grand Prix

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

Bill Worrel, the 2018 champion of the Championship Formula Racing-Detroit racing series, picked up right where he left off at the end of the 2018 season. After winning the season’s final race in 2018, he won the opening race of 2019, the Australian Grand Prix, beating 10 other drivers to the finish line. Garry Kaluzny and Richard White were the other podium finishers in 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. The race was on the Adelaide track, and the game-store venue this time was Pandemonium Games in Garden City, Michigan. The race date was February 9, 2019.

While the Adelaide track diagram was published by the old Avalon Hill game company in the late 1980s, I had designed that same track (for board-game use) around 1985, shortly after the first real Formula 1 race took place at the real Adelaide track. And, since my track design is more accurate than the AH version, we used my track design (not to mention that my track design had already been transferred to a bedsheet way back in 1985!).

Adelaide track diagram

Adelaide track diagram, a design by Garry Kaluzny from 1985.

This season, the CFR-Detroit racing series instituted a “team” championship to go along with the individual points championship. The new teams going into the 2019 season: Benetton: #5 Brian Robinson (and #20 Jim Landis, not racing in this race); Camel Lotus: #12 Gary Sturgeon (and #11 Mike Cook, absent from this race); Ferrari: #1 Bill Worrel and #2 Jack Beckman; Marlboro McLaren: #7 Richard White and #8 Garry Kaluzny; McLaren: #9 Mike St. Peter and #10 Aric Parr; Tyrrell: #3 Joel Lauder and #4 Mark Moellering; Williams: #0 Greg Lim (and #6 Jim Robinson, not present).

There were two other changes in store for the 2019 CFR-Detroit season. Points would now be awarded to the top eight finishers in each race on a 15-12-10-8-6-4-2-1 basis, instead of the first six finishers getting points on a 10-6-4-3-2-1 basis that was used for the first two seasons of CFR-Detroit racing. And, the Chance Table was changed to what it was in the old Advanced Speed Circuit days, with a 2d6 dice roll of 2 through 7 being success, instead of the CFR 2 through 6 being success.

After the teams were settled, it was time to bid for starting positions on the grid, with each driver secretly bidding a number of his wear and/or skill chits, with each wear chit counted as 1.0, and each skill chit counted as 0.5. Naturally, higher bids start in front of lower bids, with any ties resolved by rolling percentage dice (high rolls are better than low rolls).

Qualifying

Joel Lauder (3 wear + 8 skill) and Greg Lim (1 wear + 12 skill) each bid 7.0. Lauder won the percentage dice roll by “33” to “11” and so Lauder was on the pole position and Lim started next to him in the front row, in 2nd position. Bill Worrel (4 wear + 5 skill) bid 6.5 and started 3rd. Garry Kaluzny (4 wear + 4 skill) started 4th with a bid of 6.0. Richard White (4 wear + 3 skill) started 5th with a bid of 5.5.

Starting 6th was Gary Sturgeon (1 wear + 6 skill) with a bid of 4.0. Mark Moellering (2 wear + 2 skill) bid 3.0 to start 7th. McLaren teammates Aric Parr (0 wear + 4 skill) and Mike St. Peter (2 wear + 0 skill) each bid 2.0. Parr started 8th with a percentage dice roll of “84” and so St. Peter started 9th after rolling “43”. Brian Robinson (0 wear + 3 skill) bid 1.5 to start 10th, and Jack Beckman (0 wear + 1 skill) started 11th after only bidding 0.5.

The starting grid for the 2019 Australian Grand Prix with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
 3 Joel Lauder (Tyrrell)             60   40    40   140  5x   4x   hard
 0 Greg Lim (Williams)               60   60    40   140  4x   4x   hard
 1 Bill Worrel (Ferrari)             60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
 7 Richard White (Marlboro McLaren)  60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
12 Gary Sturgeon (Camel Lotus)       60   60    40   160  5x   2x   soft
 4 Mark Moellering (Tyrrell)         60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
10 Aric Parr (McLaren)               20   40    60   160  4x   4x   hard
 9 Mike St. Peter (McLaren)          60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 5 Brian Robinson (Benetton)         20   60    60   160  4x   3x   hard
 2 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   60    60   140  4x   3x   hard

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers (per lap); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

Starting grid for the 2019 Australian GP

Starting grid at 2019 Adelaide: Front row: Joel Lauder (blue/white Tyrrell) & Greg Lim (white/blue/yellow Williams); 2nd row: Bill Worrel (red Ferrari) & Garry Kaluzny (white/orange McLaren); 3rd row: Richard White (white/orange McLaren) & Gary Sturgeon (yellow Lotus); 4th row: Mark Moellering (blue Tyrrell) & Aric Parr (orange McLaren); 5th row: Mike St. Peter (orange McLaren) & Brian Robinson (blue/green Benetton); 6th row: Jack Beckman (red Ferrari). Note the temporary straight section used only for the start of the race.

1st Lap

The start of the 2019 Austrailan Grand Prix was a rather sane start, what with the track only being 2 lanes wide at the start/finish line. Most cars had a 60 mph start speed, although Aric Parr (starting in 8th place) and Brian Robinson (starting in 10th) had 20 mph start speeds. Most notably, the two cars on the front row, Joel Lauder and Greg Lim, were both shod with hard tires, so most drivers judged it unlikely that the front-row cars would try to boost their start speeds.

In the actual start, however, Joel Lauder did boost his speed to 80 mph with a dice roll, with Greg Lim moving his normal 60 mph and slotting in behind Lauder. From the 2nd row, Worrel increased to 80 mph and pulled alongside Lim. Kaluzny wisely moved just 60 mph, and pulled behind Lim, but White, from row 3, boosted his speed to 80 mph and pulled up next to his teammate Kaluzny. Sturgeon went 60 mph to pull up behind Kaluzny, and Moellering, from the inside of the 4th row, went 80 mph to pull alongside Sturgeon. Parr boosted his start speed to 40 mph, and his teammate St. Peter, from the row behind, went his normal 60 mph to pull alongside Parr. Brian Robinson increased his car to 40 mph, and Beckman moved his normal 60 mph to pull alongside B. Robinson.

Lauder leads away at the start

Lauder leads away at the start, followed by Lim, Worrel, Kaluzny, White, Sturgeon, Moellering, Parr, St. Peter, B. Robinson, and Beckman.

Worrel then passed Lim for 2nd at The Esses, while White managed to take the inside from his teammate Kaluzny, and Beckman got past Parr. Lauder continued to lead through the three slow corners around Wakefield, East Terrace, and Flinders Street. Racing down Hutt Street, the order was Lauder, Worrel, Kaluzny, White, Moellering, Beckman, Lim (having dropped to 7th after starting 2nd), Sturgeon, St. Peter, Parr, and B. Robinson. As the pack raced down Jones Straight and took the gentle right-hand bend onto the long Brabham Straight, the order was Lauder, Worrel, Kaluzny, White, Moellering, Lim, Sturgeon, Beckman, St. Peter, Parr, and B. Robinson.

Lauder leads down Brabham Straight on the 1st lap

Lauder leads down Brabham Straight on the 1st lap. The Ferrari of Worrel is racing three-abreast with the McLarens of Kaluzny and White, then is the other 6-wheeled Tyrrell of Moellering, and Sturgeon and Lim, then the plain-orange McLarens of St. Peter and Parr making a sandwich of Beckman’s red Ferrari, and then B. Robinson.

At the Foster’s Corner at the end of Brabham Straight, Worrel and Kaluzny caught Lauder, with their three cars playing “chicken” to see who would get through the corner first.

Worrel, Lauder, Kaluzny, and White all bunch up at the Foster's Corner

Worrel, Lauder, Kaluzny, and White all bunch up at the Foster’s Corner.

In the event, Kaluzny managed to take the lead after Foster’s Corner, with Worrel also passing Lauder.

Kaluzny and Worrel have passed Lauder

Kaluzny and Worrel have passed Lauder after Foster’s Corner; White and Moellering have joined the leading group. The next bunch of cars of Lim, Sturgeon, Parr, Beckman, St. Peter, and B. Robinson now have their turn to play “chicken” at Foster’s Corner!

Kaluzny led through the next couple of corners, and then Worrel ducked inside of Kaluzny at the Mistral Hairpin just before the start/finish straightaway. The two Tyrrells of Lauder and Moellering also got past White’s McLaren.

Worrel ducks to the inside of Kaluzny at the Mistral Hairpin

Worrel ducks to the inside of Kaluzny at the Mistral Hairpin.

As the five leading cars of Kaluzny, Worrel, Lauder, Moellering, and White traversed through the Mistral Hairpin, they all ducked into the pits for new tires. Lauder would switch from hard tires to soft, while the other four exchanged their soft tires for hard tires. (Note: The CFR-Detroit racing series has a rule that all cars must use both hard and soft tires in a race, which means all cars must make at least one pit stop during a race.) Shortly after, the cars of St. Peter and Sturgeon also headed into the pits for new tires (both exchanging soft for hard tires).

Most cars pitted at the end of the 1st lap

Most cars pitted at the end of the 1st lap, with Kaluzny, Worrel, Lauder, Moellering, St. Peter, White, and Sturgeon in the pits. Eschewing pit stops are Lim, B. Robinson, Parr, and Beckman.

The official order at the end of the 1st lap: Kaluzny (+3); Lim (0); B. Robinson (+7); Parr (+4); Beckman (+6); Worrel (-3); Lauder (-6); Moellering (0); White (-4); St. Peter (-1); and Sturgeon (-5). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many places a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position. Kaluzny led the lap by virtue of pitting in the space directly at the start/finish line. After the pit stops were resolved, the running order on the track was: Lim; B. Robinson; Parr; Beckman; Kaluzny; Worrel; Lauder; Moellering; White; St. Peter; and Sturgeon.

The 1st round of pit stops are over

The 1st round of pit stops are over, and Lim and B. Robinson lead the field through The Esses.

2nd Lap

Lim continued to lead through the three slow corners, and managed to stretch out a lead of two spaces over B. Robinson as Lim made the right-hand turn onto Jones Straight. By the time Lim had made the turn onto the long Brabham Straight, he led by four spaces over B. Robinson and Parr.

Lim leads down Brabham Straight

Lim leads down Brabham Straight over B. Robinson and Parr, then came Kaluzny, Lauder, Worrel, Beckman, Moellering, White, St. Peter, and Sturgeon.

Lim led into and through Foster’s Corner, but B. Robinson and Parr had closed the gap, and Kaluzny and Lauder were right on the tailpipes of B. Robinson and Parr. Through Paddock Turn, Lim held his lead, with Parr now in 2nd, and Kaluzny managing to squeeze to the inside of B. Robinson to take 3rd place. As he entered the Mistral Hairpin turn, Lim pulled off the track to make his mandatory pit stop.

Lim pits at the end of Lap 2

Lim pits at the end of Lap 2. The other cars on the track are running in the order: Kaluzny; Parr; B. Robinson; Lauder; Worrel; Beckman; Moellering; White; St. Peter; and Sturgeon.

Shortly after Lim pulled into the pits, he was joined by the cars of Lauder (pitting for the 2nd time), Parr, B. Robinson, and Beckman. The remaining cars, having already pitted once earlier in the race, stayed on the track.

Lauder, Parr, B. Robinson, and Beckman join Lim in the pits

Lauder, Parr, B. Robinson, and Beckman join Lim in the pits. Kaluzny is the new leader on the track, followed closely through the Mistral Hairpin by Worrel, Moellering, and White. St. Peter and Sturgeon trail behind.

The official order at the end of the 2nd lap: Kaluzny (+3); Worrel (+1); Moellering (+4); White (+1); Lim (-3); St. Peter (+3); Sturgeon (-1); Lauder (-7); Parr (-1); B. Robinson (0); and Beckman (0). After the pit stops shook out, the order on the track was Worrel, Kaluzny (both vying fiercely for the lead), Moellering, White, Lim, St. Peter, Sturgeon, Lauder, Parr, B. Robinson, and Beckman.

3rd Lap

Early in the 3rd lap, Kaluzny figured he had no chance to hang onto the lead, as Worrel had several more wear chits remaining than Kaluzny, but Kaluzny resolved to try to make it tough for Worrel to get past. It should be noted that during the 2nd lap, Kaluzny had been racing with the cars that would need to make a 2nd pit stop, with the idea being that if he could have got by them he would have made a 2nd stop. He thus used more wear than Worrel, who was driving more conservatively. But when it became evident to Kaluzny that he would not be able to get by the soon-to-pit cars, he belatedly backed off a bit to attempt to save some wear for the final lap. Kaluzny then did take the inside and the lead from Worrel at the Wakefield corner.

Kaluzny leads down Hutt Street

Kaluzny leads down Hutt Street from Worrel. The rest of the pack is bunched tight in the order: Moellering; White; Lauder; Lim; St. Peter; Beckman; Parr; Sturgeon; and B. Robinson.

Down Hutt Street, White passed Moellering for 3rd place, and Parr passed his teammate St. Peter (and Beckman) for 7th place. Kaluzny continued leading Worrel down the Jones Straight and onto the Brabham Straight, then Worrel pulled alongside Kaluzny half-way down the Brabham Straight, with Worrel trying to pass on the inside just before the Foster’s Corner.

Worrel tries to pass on the inside at Foster's Corner

Worrel tries to pass Kaluzny on the inside at Foster’s Corner. The other cars are running in the order White, Lauder, Moellering, Parr, Lim, Beckman, St. Peter, B. Robinson, and Sturgeon.

But not to be denied, Kaluzny held the lead out of Foster’s Corner. But then Kaluzny had to pull up short at the final Mistral Corner (moving at only 80 mph) due to lack of wear, while Worrel passed Kaluzny at that corner, traveling 120 mph and using a wear and successfully making a -3 chance dice roll around the outside lane.

Worrel takes the lead at Mistral

Worrel takes the lead at Mistral Corner from Kaluzny. White is 3rd, then Lauder, Parr, Moellering, and Lim are battling for 4th, followed by Beckman, B. Robinson, St. Peter, and Sturgeon in a fight for 8th (the last points-paying position).

Worrel then continued moving at 120 mph in his next move, thus reaching the start/finish line and winning the race. Kaluzny could only move at 80 mph, thus being relegated to 2nd place.

Worrel takes the checked flag

Worrel takes the checked flag to win at Adelaide, making it two consecutive race wins (going back to the final race of 2018).

The official finishing order at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix: 1st-Bill Worrel (+2); 2nd-Garry Kaluzny (+2); 3rd-Richard White (+2); 4th-Aric Parr (+4); 5th-Greg Lim (-3); 6th-Joel Lauder (-5); 7th-Mark Moellering (0); 8th-Brian Robinson (+2); 9th-Jack Beckman (+2); 10th-Gary Sturgeon (-4); 11th-Mike St. Peter (-2). Several cars made chance rolls in the Mistral Hairpin corner, using their -3 skill modifier chits. All of the cars made their rolls except for St. Peter, who spun. It didn’t affect St. Peter’s placing, though, as he was running last when he spun.

Aftermath

Points awarded at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix: Worrel 15; Kaluzny 12; White 10; Parr 8; Lim 6; Lauder 4; Moellering 2; and B. Robinson 1.

Team points awarded at the 2019 Australian Grand Prix: Marlboro McLaren 22; Ferrari 15; McLaren 8; Williams 6; Tyrrell 6; Benetton 1.

The Marlboro McLaren team was satisfied with the outcome of the race, finishing in 2nd and 3rd place, and taking the lead in the team championship standings. Aric Parr had a nice drive, finishing 4th after starting 8th.

The points standings of the 2019 CFR-Detroit season (after 1 of 10 races):

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Bill Worrel (Ferrari)             15
  2   Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  12
  3   Richard White (Marlboro McLaren)  10
  4   Aric Parr (McLaren)                8
  5   Greg Lim (Williams)                6
  6   Joel Lauder (Tyrrell)              4
  7   Mark Moellering (Tyrrell)          2
  8   Brian Robinson (Benetton)          1
  9T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             0
  9T  Gary Sturgeon (Camel Lotus)        0
  9T  Mike St. Peter (McLaren)           0

Drivers can only count their 7 best finishes out of the 10 races.

The team championship standings of the 2019 CFR-Detroit season (after 1 of 10 races):

Place Team              Points
  1   Marlboro McLaren    22
  2   Ferrari             15
  3   McLaren              8
  4T  Williams             6
  4T  Tyrrell              6
  6   Benetton             1
  7   Camel Lotus          0

Teams can only count their 2 best finishing cars from each race.

The next race of the 2019 CFR-Detroit racing series was at the Guild of Blades game store in Clawson, Michigan, on Saturday, March 16, 2019. As always, keep up to date with the CFR-Detroit racing series at the home page at http://michigumbo.com/cfr/.

Close Action in the Detroit, Michigan, area

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

A number of years ago, I was introduced to the game “Close Action,” which is a board game about naval combat in the “Age of Fighting Sail,” circa the year 1800. It is basically an improvement of the old Avalon Hill game of “Wooden Ships & Iron Men.” Close Action was designed by Mark Campbell, although he has had a lot of folks play various scenarios and offer suggestions for improvements along the way. The game was published by Clash of Arms games in 1997. But then I didn’t get to play the game for more than a decade (probably closer to two decades).

Close Action box cover

Close Action box cover, from Clash of Arms games.

So, probably around the middle of 2017, I was checking out the latest sales flyer from Noble Knight Games, and I saw they had a brand new copy of Close Action for sale. I immediately bought the game, because Close Action has been out of print. Noble Knight also had the two add-on scenario packs of Rebel Seas and Monsoon Seas for sale, so I bought those, too. (Rebel Seas is the only product from the Close Action series available for sale at the Clash of Arms web site, as of February 2019.) So now I owned the basic components of Close Action, but didn’t have any miniature ships to play the game with. Although CA was designed as a board game, it does seem more fun to play when using miniature ships.

I was still in contact with Jim Robinson, as he races in our CFR-Detroit racing games. He’s the guy that introduced me to Close Action in the early 1990s. We were playing then with “pre-publication” rules for the game (version 4.30). Dennis Daughetee was another player, and between Dennis and Jim we had a good sized fleet of miniature ships to use. Anyway, in March 2018, we got several folks together to play a scenario of Close Action at the Canton (Michigan) public library during the first Saturday meetup boardgame day. We used (I believe) 1:900 scale ships on Jim’s large hex mat (with 2-inch hexes). It was pretty cool.

Close Action with 1:900 scale ships

Close Action with 1:900 scale ships at the Canton, Michigan, library.

Now, the large 1:900 scale ships are really neat, but later, while playing another scenario at Imperium Games, with about a dozen ships on each side, it became apparent that it would be very difficult to get all of the ships on the same playing mat at the same time. This made me want to use smaller scale ships. I began to look into the various ships available. It seems that 1:1200 scale is a very popular scale for naval minis from the Age of Sail, and it seems the two main sources for ships are GHQ’s “Micronauts” and Langton Miniatures. GHQ’s ships are about $17 each, though, and the Langton ships are about the same price, once you buy the hulls and sails. Sort of a steep price if you want to purchase enough ships for a 40-ship battle!

So then I discovered the 1:2000 scale ships available from Valiant Enterprises. While Valiant’s ships are not nearly as detailed as the larger 1:1200 scale ships, they are much more affordable, and they are “good enough” for minis gaming. You can buy a 3-pack of 74-gun ships-of-the-line from Valiant for less than $15, or $5 per ship. Now we’re talking affordable! Not to mention that the ships won’t take up as much space, so one can use a smaller hex grid to play on. What made it even better, just about the time I mentioned to some of our Championship Formula Racing group that I was going to start buying the Valiant 1:2000 scale ships, two of the CFR racers, Jim Robinson and Mike St. Peter, gave me a bunch of already built and painted ships! Jim gave me close to 40 ships, mostly 74-gunners but also a few larger and smaller ships. Mike donated around a dozen serviceable ships to me, and some other parts that can be salvaged to repair some other ships.

So, now I had a fleet of ships to use, so the next thing to do was to obtain a playing mat. Now, most folks I have seen online who play naval minis just buy a large hex-grid mat from folks such as Hotz Mats. While the mats from Eric Hotz are beautiful, they are also somewhat expensive, with a 45-inch by 72-inch “Mediterrean Sea Blue” mat costing $67 (with shipping). And you would need more than one mat. But there are two problems with using a plain-colored mat.  For one, the generic blue-hex-grid mats don’t have numbered hexes, making it difficult to correctly place the ships for the scenarios. Also, some of the scenarios in Close Action have land or shallow water. The original maps that come with Close Action have different colored hexes that can be used to depict shallow water or land, while the generic hex-grid mats are all the same color, making it difficult to designate areas as land or shallow water. Not to mention that I don’t want to limit my playing to only deep-water scenarios. So then I decided to use my flat-bed scanner to scan the CA maps, then enlarged them 160% so the hexes were 1-inch across. I then printed them out as tiles, and then glued them to a folding cardboard display board. The final result looks  like this:

Close Action enlarged maps A & B

Close Action enlarged maps A & B.

For basing the ships, I made some 1.75-inch by 0.75-inch rectangles, and added the number of guns, each ship’s name, and the country flag of that ship along both sides of the rectangle. Then I printed out the artwork and glued it to foam-core board, then used an X-Acto knife to cut apart all of the bases. The ships on their bases look like this:

1:2000 scale ships on foam-core bases

1:2000 scale British 50-gun Adamant and French 64-gun Ardent, mounted on foam-core bases.

So, now we’re ready to start playing some semi-regular games of Close Action in the Detroit, Michigan, area!

 

CFR-Detroit 2018 Race #4 – Monaco Grand Prix

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

The fourth race of the CFR-Detroit 2018 racing season was held at Imperium Games in Wixom, Michigan, on Saturday, August 11, and Mike Cook, the pole-sitter, won handily over 11 other competitors. Second and third places went to Gary Sturgeon and Jim Robinson, respectively. Although the CFR-Detroit races have been held on Friday evenings, it was decided to move most of the races to Saturday afternoons because with the 15 racers who competed in last month’s race, the race would not have been able to be completed before most gaming stores would have closed for the evening. We were fortunate that the previous race was at Pandemonium Games and Hobbies in Garden City, and that store stayed open until midnight (most other game stores close at 11:00 pm) and so we were able to complete the race at “Pando” before being evicted for the evening!

The Monte Carlo track we used to race on.

The Monte Carlo track we used to race on.

We used the old Monte Carlo track from one of the Avalon Hill Accessory Pack tracks, except we updated it with the “Nouvelle Chicane.” This is the same track we raced at last year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

After the drivers set up their car’s specs, the drivers secretly bid for starting positions. Each wear chit counted as 1.0, and each skill chit counted as 0.5. Higher bids started in front of lower bids. Ties were resolved by rolling percentage dice, high rolls favored over low rolls.

Mike Cook (1 wear + 12 skill) bid 7.0, and so started in the pole position. Jim Robinson (2 wear + 8 skill) bid 6.0 and started 2nd on the grid. Gary Sturgeon (1 wear + 9 skill) and Richard White (5 wear + 1 skill) tied with bids of 5.5. Sturgeon won the percentage dice-off by ’63’ to ’22,’ so Sturgeon started 3rd and White 4th. Jack Beckman (1 wear + 8 skill) started 5th with a bid of 5.0. Garry Kaluzny (3 wear + 3 skill) started 6th with a bid of 4.5. Bill Worrel (3 wear + 2 skill) started 7th with a bid of 4.0. Brian Robinson (0 wear + 5 skill) started 8th with a bid of 2.5. Mike St. Peter (1 wear + 2 skill) and Greg Lim (0 wear + 4 skill) each bid 2.0, with St. Peter winning the resulting dice-off by ’77’ to ’50’ and so St. Peter was 9th and Lim 10th on the grid. Jim Landis (0 wear + 1 skill) started 11th with a bid of 0.5, and Aric Parr (0 wear + 0 skill) bid nothing and so started in 12th position.

The starting grid for the Monaco Grand Prix with their car specs:

 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)          100   40    40   140  5x   3x   hard
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
22 Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)          100   40    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 1 Richard White (Brabham)           60   40    60   140  5x   3x   soft
12 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 8 Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 4 Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)             60   40    40   140  5x   4x   hard 
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)    20   60    60   140  5x   3x   soft
44 Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)         60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
13 Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                60   60    40   140  5x   3x   hard
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)             20   60    60   160  5x   2x   hard
14 Aric Parr (Motul BRM)             20   60    60   140  5x   3x   hard

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers (per lap); Skill = # of Skill markers (per lap); Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race.

Starting grid for the Monaco G.P.

Starting grid for the Monaco G.P. Mike Cook (yellow car) is on the pole (the inside of the track), while Jim Robinson (white/yellow/blue) is next to Cook on the front row. (Greg Lim photo)

As the green flag dropped, Mike Cook roared off with his 100 mph start speed, ending his move in the Ste. Devote corner. Cook started on hard tires, and did not want to risk increasing his start speed by rolling dice — and besides, ending up in the middle of Ste. Devote was a great place to end his first turn. Gary Sturgeon, the only other car with a 100 mph start speed, used a wear (since he was on soft tires) to increase his start speed to 120 mph. That allowed Sturgeon to pass Jim Robinson (who had used a wear to increase his start speed to 80 mph), leaving Sturgeon in 2nd place on the outside of Ste. Devote. Richard White used a wear to boost his starting speed to 80 mph. He eschewed the cornering arrow, instead taking the inside lane of the track. Jack Beckman, although on soft tires, elected to roll dice and try to boost his start speed “the hard way.” Although Beckman used two -1 skill chits, he rolled a ’12’ and so moved off at only 40 mph, instead of the 80 mph he had hoped for. Both Garry Kaluzny and Bill Worrel passed Beckman at the start. Kaluzny only plotted 60 mph, figuring there wouldn’t be any spaces to move into at 80 mph, while Worrel plotted 80 mph and so moved up next to Kaluzny. The rest of the field started somewhat cautiously.

Cook and Sturgeon roar into the lead

Cook and Sturgeon roar into the lead over J. Robinson and White (note White is driving a different model of Brabham for this race). Then came Kaluzny, Worrel, Beckman, B. Robinson, St. Peter, Lim, Landis, and Parr. (Greg Lim photo)

Mike St. Peter completed a forced-pass through Brian Robinson & Beckman at Ste. Devote, vaulting St. Peter into 7th (after St. Peter started 9th).

Cook continued to lead during the 1st lap, and Sturgeon mostly stayed in 2nd. Jim Robinson briefly challenged Sturgeon for 2nd at Mirabeau Haute, but then Sturgeon ducked to the inside at the Hairpin and re-took the position, only to have Robinson re-take 2nd at Mirabeau Bas after the Hairpin. Then Sturgeon got back into 2nd going through the Nouvelle Chicane. Richard White made a -3 chance roll at Portier, having also spent a wear at Portier and 2 wear on the previous corner (Mirabeau Bas).

Cook leads into Tabac on the 1st lap

Cook leads by 5 spaces at Tabac on the 1st lap. The other cars in order: Sturgeon; J. Robinson; Kaluzny; White; Worrel; St. Peter; Lim; Landis; Beckman; Parr; and B. Robinson.

After passing through La Rascasse, Cook was the first car to pull into the pits. Although his car had started on hard tires, Cook had burned through all of his wear and so stopped for fresh tires. A move later, Sturgeon joined Cook in the pits. Lim attempted a forced pass of Worrel at La Rascasse, but failed and spun short of the corner. Lim was able to recover nicely, though, as with his 60 mph start speed and acceleration, he continued on at 60 mph through Rascasse, and pulled even with Richard White on the far side of that corner.

Cook and Sturgeon in the pits; Lim spins at La Rascasse

Cook and Sturgeon in the pits; Lim spins at La Rascasse.

Just as Cook was leaving the pits and re-entering the track, Jim Robinson and Kaluzny pulled into the pits. By the time Sturgeon got back on the track, Cook had a 7-space lead.

Frantic action in the pits as Cook leads Sturgeon by 7 spaces

Frantic action in the pits as Cook leads Sturgeon by 7 spaces. In the pits are B. Robinson, Worrel, Lim, White, Beckman, and St. Peter. Jim Robinson and Kaluzny have just been placed back on the track, just to the outside of Parr, who did not pit. Just in front of those three cars is the Benetton of Landis, who also did not pit.

The official order at the end of the 1st lap: Cook (0); Sturgeon (+1); Landis (+8); Kaluzny (+2); Parr (+7); J. Robinson (-4); Worrel (0); Lim (+2); Beckman (-4); St. Peter (-1); White (-7); and B. Robinson (-4). The numbers in parentheses indicate how many places a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position.

Mike Cook indicates "thumbs up"

Mike Cook indicates “thumbs up” to show he has his next move plotted. It could also mean that everything is going great as he still leads by 6 spaces through Mirabeau Haute.

During the 2nd lap, Cook cruised with a huge lead. As Cook went into the Nouvelle Chicane for the 2nd time, his lead over Sturgeon was 9 spaces. Sturgeon then led by 6 spaces over Jim Robinson. The rest of the pack were all fighting tooth and nail (or would that be wing and wheel-rim?) through every corner.

Cook leads by a huge margin into the Nouvelle Chicane

Cook leads by a huge margin into the Nouvelle Chicane.

Among the pursuing cars, J. Robinson and Kaluzny were having a fierce battle for 3rd place. Parr and Landis were right behind, battling for 5th place. Beckman, Worrel, and White were duking it out over 8th place.

Then, when the leader Cook pulled into the pits for the 2nd time, Parr crashed his gray Motul BRM at the first of the “swimming pool” corners, now known as the “Louis Chiron” corner.

Aric Parr crashed at Louis Chiron

Aric Parr crashed at Louis Chiron, by the swimming pool. The race leader, Mike Cook, is already in the pits, and 2nd-place Sturgeon is approaching La Rascasse. The rest of the order on the track is J. Robinson, Kaluzny, Landis, Lim, Worrel, Beckman, White, B. Robinson, and St. Peter.

Cars making pit stops at the end of the 2nd lap were Cook, Sturgeon, J. Robinson, Kaluzny, Lim, Landis, Worrel, and Beckman. All of those drivers were making their 2nd pit stop of the race except for Landis, who was making his 1st stop. All of the pitting drivers came returned to the track shod with soft tires. Not stopping were White, B. Robinson, and St. Peter. The non-pitting trio were all on hard tires, and so each regained two wear chits.

The official order after two laps: Cook (0); Sturgeon (+1); White (+1); J. Robinson (-2); B. Robinson (+3); Kaluzny (0); Lim (+3); Landis (+3); St. Peter (0); Worrel (-3); and Beckman (-6). Parr (0) did not complete the lap, and was classified 12th with a DNF.

At last, the final lap! Cook was just about coasting to an easy win, and Sturgeon was a fairly safe 2nd place. Through Ste. Devote and up the hill to the Massenet corner, White and J. Robinson were dueling for 3rd place. Brian Robinson, Kaluzny, Lim, and Landis were in a tight knot of cars fighting for 5th place. St. Peter and Worrel were battling for 9th place, and Beckman had fallen to last, 5 spaces behind the nearest cars. But, by the Mirabeau Haute corner, Worrel, St. Peter, and Beckman had all closed the gap to the four cars in front of them.

Going up the hill to Massenet, and cars are all strung out

Going up the hill to Massenet, and cars are all strung out. Cook’s yellow car leads at the far right of the picture, and Beckman’s car is at the back of the pack at the far left.

The pack has closed up

The pack has closed up. Sturgeon, in 2nd, is at the right, followed by J. Robinson and White. Then 5th through 11th places (Kaluzny, Lim, B. Robinson, Worrel, Landis, Beckman, and St. Peter) are all bunched up in front of the Hairpin.

Then as the pack slithered through the Hairpin, Mirabeau Bas, and Portier, Kaluzny got just a little in front of his competitors. This was turning into the most exciting part of the Monaco Grand Prix, as a number of cars were battling for a few points-paying positions. Beckman, in an attempt to slow for the Hairpin, rolled a ’10’ on an unmodified deceleration roll, and that reduced his deceleration spec to 20 mph until the end of the race. Then, coming out of Portier shortly afterwards, Beckman failed an unmodified overacceleration roll, and that reduced his car’s acceleration to only 20 mph.

The race is heating up near the Nouvelle Chicane

The race is heating up near the Nouvelle Chicane!

As expected, Mike Cook (o) won as easily as a race can be won while playing Championship Formula Racing, winning by 10 spaces over Gary Sturgeon (+1) in 2nd place. Those two finished one-two in 2017, in similar fashion. The battle, now, was for 3rd. J. Robinson had managed to get ahead of White at the Nouvelle Chicane, and Robinson was now trying to stay ahead of a hard-charging Kaluzny, as Kaluzny had finally been able to pass White in the swimming pool corners.

Cook wins easily; the battle for 3rd continues

Cook wins easily (yellow car at upper right of picture). Sturgeon (car at upper left) is approaching the checkered flag). The battle for 3rd continues as J. Robinson holds 3rd at Rascasse from Kaluzny, White, Lim, Worrel, B. Robinson, Landis, St. Peter, and Beckman.

Jim Robinson now saw his way clear for 3rd place coming out of La Rascasse, as he held a 2-space lead over Kaluzny, and only the Anthony Noghes corner remained before the finish line. Kaluzny was feeling assured of finishing no lower than 4th, as Richard White had just crashed in La Rascasse, and Greg Lim was stuck in that corner with the rest of the pack behind.

Richard White crashes at La Rascasse

Richard White crashes at La Rascasse while Jim Robinson and Garry Kaluzny head towards 3rd and 4th place.

As it was, Garry Kaluzny managed to pull alongside Jim Robinson as they crossed the finish line, but Robinson (-1) managed to hang on to 3rd place over Kaluzny (+2). It was a sort of reverse of the finish at Monza, where Kaluzny had just stayed ahead of Robinson, except that at Monza the duo were battling for 1st place. Greg Lim (+5) then took an uncontested 5th place. And then finally Bill Worrel (+1) was able to hold off Brian Robinson for 6th place and the final point. Brian Robinson (+1) finished 7th. Eighth through 10th places went to: 8th-Jim Landis (+3); 9th-Mike St. Peter (0); 10th-Jack Beckman (-5). Beckman nursed his car home about 10 spaces behind the 9th place car of St. Peter, but Beckman was determined to bring his car home at Monaco in 2018 after crashing his car on the final corner of the same track in 2017. Classified 11th was Richard White (-7) with a DNF due to a crash, and Aric Parr was classified 12th, for the same reason.

Points awarded at the Monaco Grand Prix: Cook 10; Sturgeon 6; Jim Robinson 4; Kaluzny 3; Lim 2; and Worrel 1.

The points standings of the 2018 CFR-Detroit season after four of eight races:

Place Driver (Car)                    Points
  1   Richard White (Brabham)           23
  2   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           17
  3   Jim Robinson (Williams)           16
  4   Garry Kaluzny (Marlboro McLaren)  13
  5T  Gary Sturgeon (McLaren)           10
  5T  Bill Worrel (Tyrrell)             10
  7T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             4
  7T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     4
  9T  Aric Parr (Motul BRM)              2
  9T  Joel Lauder (HSBC Jaguar)          2
  9T  Greg Lim (GoDaddy)                 2
 12   Mike St. Peter (Mercedes)          1
 13T  Jim Landis (Benetton)              0
 13T  Mark Moellering (McLaren)          0
 13T  Gary Kempen (Williams)             0
 13T  Chuck Modzinski (Arrows)           0
 13T  Jim Lauder (Shadow)                0

The next race of the 2018 CFR-Detroit racing campaign is the Detroit Grand Prix, raced on the Belle Isle track this year. It will be at RIW Hobbies & Games in Livonia, Michigan, on September 15.

CFR Race #6: Canadian Grand Prix at Guild of Blades

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Only seven drivers competed at the Canadian Grand Prix on February 16, 2018, using the Championship Formula Racing rules. Gary Sturgeon won his 2nd consecutive race after starting 4th on the grid. Jack Beckman (2nd) and Richard White (3rd) were the other podium finishers. This race was held at the Guild of Blades game store in Clawson, Michigan. It had originally been scheduled for February 9, but was postponed a week due to an unusually heavy snowfall on the 9th. The race was on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit from Montreal, Canada. The CFR-Detroit race series is now averaging 9.8 drivers per race (through six races).

The Gilles Villeneuve circuit of Montreal

The Gilles Villeneuve circuit of Montreal, Canada, as configured from 1978 to 1986.

We raced on the older track configuration, using the old Avalon Hill track as our basis for the track.

The model track of the Gilles Villeneuve circuit

The model track of the Gilles Villeneuve circuit that we raced on.

Once again, the bidding for pole position featured rather high bids. (Each wear bid counts as 1.0; each skill bid counts as 0.5.) Mike Cook won his 4th pole position in six races with a bid of 8.0 (2 wear + 12 skill). Starting 2nd was Jack Beckman with a bid of 7.0 (2 wear + 10 skill). Richard White started 3rd, also with a bid of 7.0 (5 wear + 4 skill), but Jack got 2nd as he rolled better on percentage dice (39 to 03) to grab 2nd from Richard. Gary Sturgeon started 4th with a bid of 6.0 (0 wear + 12 skill). Garry Kaluzny started 6th with a bid of 5.5 (3 wear + 5 skill). Gary Kempen was the 6th starter with his bid of 4.5 (0 wear + 9 skill). Greg Lim was content to start last, in 7th, as he bid nothing.

The starting grid and their car specs:

# Driver (Car)                     Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 2 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            100   40    20   140  5x   4x   soft
 1 Richard White (Brabham)            60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
12 Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus) 100   40    40   140  5x   3x   hard
 9 Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            60   40    40   160  5x   3x   soft
 4 Gary Kempen (Ferrari)              60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 7 Greg Lim (Motorola)                60   60    40   140  4x   4x   soft

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers per lap raced; Skill = # of Skill markers per lap raced; Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race. (Since the race was 3 laps, a car with 5x of Wear would receive 15 Wear markers to start the race (as an example).)

Most of our racers were distressed upon hearing that the “real” Formula One did away with their “Grid Girls”; however, our CFR-Detroit race series decided to hire the now unemployed Grid Girls for our racing series.

The starting grid with Grid Girls

The starting grid at Canada with the Grid Girls helping to line up the cars. (Yes, we know the Grid Girls are in 1:32 scale while the cars are in 1:64 scale, but it was the best we could do. Nobody seems to make Grid Girls in 1:64 scale.)

When the green flag dropped to start the race, Jack Beckman burned a wear (since he was on soft tires) to increase his start speed from 100 to 120 mph, so he roared off ahead of the pole-sitter, Mike Cook, even though Cook had also boosted his start speed. Sturgeon started at his 100 mph start speed, and he was able to pass White for 3rd as White just started at his base 60 mph start speed. Kaluzny, Kempen, and Lim slotted into positions 5, 6, and 7, in the same order as they had lined up on the grid. Everyone was happy that it was a clean start, with nobody getting balked.

The cars are away at the start

The cars are away at the start of the Canadian Grand Prix. The running order: Beckman (Ferrari); Cook (Camel Lotus); Sturgeon (John Player Lotus); White (Brabham); Kaluzny (McLaren); Kempen (Ferrari); and Lim (Motorola).

The field pretty much stayed in the same order, with the pack finally bunching up at the Epingle de l’Isle. It was there that Kempen made a move to pass Kaluzny and pull to the inside of White, thereby taking 4th place.

Kempen takes 4th at Epingle de l'Isle

Kempen (red #4 Ferrari) takes 4th at Epingle de l’Isle.

Kempen found that he couldn’t hold onto 4th, however, as coming out of the Epingle de l’Isle he was re-passed by both White and Kaluzny. White was even able to pass Sturgeon for 3rd place.

White advances to 3rd; Kempen drops back to 6th

White (Olivetti Brabham) advances to 3rd; Kempen drops back to 6th.

The pack mostly stayed bunched together the rest of the 1st lap, although Beckman and Cook did gain a few spaces over the rest of the pack. As the pack roared through the hairpin turn at Epingle du Casino, Beckman, Cook, White, Kaluzny, and Kempen all pitted to exchange their worn-out soft tires for fresh hard tires. Sturgeon stayed on the track with his hard tires, and Lim also stayed on the track, although Lim was riding on soft tires.

The first pit stops

The first pit stops — Beckman, Cook, White, Kaluzny and Kempen are in the pits; Sturgeon and Lim stay on the track.

After the 1st round of pit stops, and at the end of Lap 1, the official running order was Sturgeon (+3) and Lim (+6), then 6 spaces to Beckman (-1) and Cook (-3), then 3 spaces to Kaluzny (0), then came White (-3) and Kempen (-1). The numbers in parentheses tell how many spaces a driver either gained (+) or lost (-) from their starting position.

Running order at the end of Lap 1

Running order at the end of Lap 1: Sturgeon; Lim; Beckman; Cook; Kaluzny; White; and Kempen.

During the next half lap, Kaluzny failed an acceleration dice roll, and Cook failed a deceleration dice roll (Cook failing his roll as he was heading into the slow Epingle de l’Isle). Each driver used only a single -1 skill chit for their roll. In Kaluzny’s case, he rolled an 11, meaning he would have successfully made the roll had he used two -1 skill chits. Extra skill wouldn’t have helped Cook, though, as he rolled a 12. With Kaluzny’s car ailing on acceleration coming out of the Epingle de l’Isle, Kempen successfully made a forced pass of Kaluzny and White, putting Kempen up into 5th place.

Kempen takes 5th after a forced pass

Kempen takes 5th after a forced pass of White and Kaluzny. Greg Lim (blue sweatshirt, black and blue car in 2nd place on the track) looks over his cards to plot his car’s speed for the upcoming game turn.

Near the end of the 2nd lap, Sturgeon had built a lead of 6 spaces over Lim, and then Sturgeon pulled into pit lane to change from his worn-out hard tires onto soft tires for the final lap.

Sturgeon pits at the end of the 2nd lap

Sturgeon pits at the end of the 2nd lap.

Then Lim pulled into the pits a turn later, and as expected, everyone else stayed on the track. When Sturgeon got back on the track after his pit stop, he had fallen to 4th place, 5 spaces behind the new leader, Beckman. However, Sturgeon now had a full complement of 15 wear, while Beckman had used up most of his wear on the 2nd lap.

Beckman leads after two laps

Taking the white flag, Beckman leads after two laps. Former leader Sturgeon is back on the track in 4th place, next to White’s Brabham.

At the end of the 2nd lap, the two Ferraris of Beckman (+1) and Kempen (+4) were in the lead. Then came Sturgeon (+1), White (-1), Cook (-4), Kaluzny (-1), and Lim (0).

The Ferraris lead the start of the final lap

The Ferraris of Beckman and Kempen lead the start of the final lap.

Sturgeon finally made his move for the lead the final time through the Epingle de l’Isle corner. He pulled alongside Beckman’s #3 Ferrari, then Sturgeon’s John Player Lotus pulled in front as they exited that corner.

Sturgeon pulls alongside Beckman

Sturgeon (black #12) pulls alongside Beckman (red #3) at the Epingle de l’Isle.

Sturgeon accelerates into the lead

Sturgeon accelerates into the lead. Trailing are Beckman, Kempen, White, Kaluzny, Cook, and Lim.

Kempen spun just before the “S” curves, dropping him from 3rd to 6th place. It was good for him that he used his -3 skill chit, because he rolled a 12 on the Chance Table. If he had only used two -1 skill markers, that would have been a crash. In the meantime, Beckman was trying to hang with Sturgeon. Surprisingly, Kaluzny and Cook were staying near the leaders, even though Kaluzny’s car only had a 20 mph acceleration and Cook’s car only had a 20 mph deceleration.

Through the "S" curves the final time

Through the “S” curves the final time; Sturgeon still leads from Beckman while Kempen has recovered from his spin but is now in 6th place.

Down through the chicane for the final time, Sturgeon maintained his grip on 1st place. He then was able to enter the final Epingle du Casino corner before Beckman, thereby assuring Sturgeon of the victory. Through the chicane that last time, Kempen managed to successfully pass an unmodified Chance roll by rolling a 4. He needed to roll a 6 or less to make it through with spinning or crashing.

Sturgeon leads Beckman at the final corner

Sturgeon leads Beckman at the final corner.

Although Sturgeon was about to take the checkered flag for his second straight win, there was still much excitement to occur in that final corner. Lim tried to maintain a high rate of speed around the outside of the corner in an attempt to pass Kaluzny, but Lim spun.

Sturgeon about to take the checkered flag

Sturgeon about to take the checkered flag, while Lim spins on the outside of the final corner. Mike Cook looks on with concern, trying to figure how he can make it through the final corner with damaged brakes.

As Lim recovered from his spin, he moved out of the corner but he hogged the cornering line, just to make it tough on the two following cars to make it through that corner. Indeed, Cook had to roll on the Deceleration Table once again, using his last -1 skill token. Unfortunately for him, he rolled an 11, which was the second time he had failed a deceleration dice roll, thereby putting his car out of the race with failed brakes. Then Kempen’s Ferrari tested the fates one more time, but this time failed the Chance dice roll by crashing out of the race. Cook was classified 6th, and Kempen 7th, but Cook failed to score the single point for 6th because cars must finish a race in order to gain any points.

Sturgeon wins from Beckman

Sturgeon wins from Beckman, meanwhile, Cook (yellow car) lost his brakes, and Kempen (upside-down Ferrari) crashed in the final corner.

At the checkered flag, it was Sturgeon (+3), then Beckman (0), White (0), Kaluzny (+1), and Lim (+2). Out of the points with DNFs were Cook (-5) and Kempen (-1).

Victory podium

Driver Gary Sturgeon (well, at least a 1:32 scale representation of Sturgeon) stands atop the Victory Podium.

The points awarded at the Canadian Grand Prix: Sturgeon 10; Beckman 6; White 4; Kaluzny 3; and Lim 2.

The updated points standings after six (of eight) races:

Place Driver (Car)                     Points
  1   Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  35
  2   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            29
  3T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             24
  3T  Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            24
  5   Richard White (Brabham)            18
  6T  Jim Landis (Benetton)               6
  6T  Greg Lim (Motorola)                 6
  8T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)      4
  8T  Gary Kempen (Ferrari)               4
 10   Jim Robinson (Williams)             3
 11   Mike Manderachia (Ligier)           2
 12T  Russ Herschler (Minardi)            0
 12T  Chad Marlett (Red Bull)             0
 12T  Tim Gould (McLaren)                 0

The 7th race of the CFR-Detroit racing season is on Friday, March 9, 2018, at Imperium Games at 28990 S. Wixom Road in Wixom, Michigan. Race time is 7:00 pm, although we ask racers to be there by 6:30 pm in order to set up their car. We also want to have bidding for starting positions start at 6:55 pm.

CFR Race #5: Detroit Grand Prix at RIW Hobbies & Games

Monday, February 5th, 2018

January 12, 2018, saw 13 racers compete at the Detroit Grand Prix, racing on the old downtown Detroit track. The race was held at RIW Hobbies & Games in Livonia, Michigan. When the engines stopped revving, Gary Sturgeon had earned his first victory of the season, propelling him into 2nd place in the points standings. Other podium finishers were Jack Beckman (2nd) and Gary Kempen (3rd), aka Team Ferrari.

Downtown Detroit track used from 1983 through 1988.

Downtown Detroit track used from 1983 through 1988.

When Avalon Hill was creating extra tracks for Speed Circuit in the 1980s, they created a downtown Detroit Grand Prix track based on the 1982 version of the track that had the hairpin at E. Jefferson Ave, but that track was not all that accurate. So, I (Garry Kaluzny) created a new track for Speed Circuit of the downtown Detroit circuit. Here is that track diagram:

Downtown Detroit track suitable for use with Championship Formula Racing.

Downtown Detroit track suitable for use with Championship Formula Racing.

While the bidding for Pole Position at most previous races was rather conservative, most racers upped their qualifying bid quite a bit for this track, as everyone wanted to start up front! I was rather shocked, myself, as although I bid 2 Wear and 3 skill for a bid of 3.5, I started way back in the pack in 9th place (out of 13 starters). As a reminder to folks who are not familiar with the CFR board game bidding process, bidding 1 Wear counts as 1.0, bidding 1 Skill counts as 0.5. The entire bidding results:

Pole Position went to Jim Robinson, his first Pole of the season. Jim bid 2 Wear and 12 Skill (all of his -1 Skill markers!) for a bid of 8.0. Four drivers, Gary Sturgeon (0 Wear, 12 Skill), Jack Beckman (1 Wear, 10 Skill), Greg Lim (0 Wear, 12 Skill), and Mike Cook (2 Wear, 8 Skill), all bid 6.0. They then all rolled percentage dice, rolling 91, 73, 64, and 07, respectively, so Sturgeon was 2nd on the grid, Beckman was 3rd, Lim 4th, and Cook was 5th. Two drivers, Gary Kempen (2 Wear, 5 Skill) and Chad Marlett (3 Wear, 3 Skill) bid 4.5, with Kempen winning the percentage dice roll-off by 44 to 39, thus giving Kempen the 6th starting spot on the grid and relegating Marlett to 7th. Jim Landis slotted into the 8th starting spot with a bid of 4.0 (1 Wear and 6 Skill), and Garry Kaluzny grabbed 9th after bidding 3.5 (2 Wear and 3 Skill). 10th place went to Richard White with his bid of 3.0 (3 Wear and 0 Skill). 11th place was contested by identical bids of 2.5 by Mike Manderachia (2 Wear, 1 Skill) and Brian Robinson (0 Wear, 5 Skill), with Manderachia winning the roll-off by 93 to 90, thus placing Brian Robinson in 12th place. Newcomer Tim Gould started 13th with a bid of only 1.5 (1 Wear and 1 Skill).

The starting grid and their car stats:

# Driver (Car)                     Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)            60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
12 Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 3 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            100   40    20   140  5x   4x   hard
 7 Greg Lim (Motorola)                60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)           100   40    40   140  5x   3x   hard
 4 Gary Kempen (Ferrari)              20   60    40   140  5x   4x   soft
71 Chad Marlett (Red Bull)            60   60    60   140  4x   3x   soft
20 Jim Landis (Benetton)              60   40    40   140  5x   4x   soft
 9 Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            60   60    40   140  5x   3x   hard
 1 Richard White (Brabham)            60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
25 Mike Manderachia (Ligier)          60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)     20   80    40   140  5x   3x   soft
10 Tim Gould (McLaren)                60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers per lap raced; Skill = # of Skill markers per lap raced; Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race. (Since the race was 3 laps, a car with 5x of Wear would receive 15 Wear markers to start the race (as an example).)

It was nice to have Mike Manderachia race with us. Although this was his first race using the Championship Formula Racing rules, Mike used to race with us using the Advanced Speed Circuit rules back in the late 1980s. We also had newcomer Tim Gould in his first race, and Gary Kempen and Chad Marlett were in only their 2nd races.

It was interesting that two cars (Beckman and Cook) opted for a 100 mph Start Speed, while two others (Kempen and B. Robinson) chose 20 mph as their Start Speed. All drivers went with a 140 mph Top Speed (taking a point out of that characteristic so they could use it elsewhere) since Detroit only has one place where a car could conceivably go 160 mph (and probably wouldn’t get the chance if it was in traffic), and all drivers but one (Marlett) went with the maximum Wear of 5x, meaning they would start with 5 x 3 Wear = 15 Wear to start the race (minus any Wear they used in bidding for starting position).

The starting grid for the Detroit Grand Prix.

The starting grid for the Detroit Grand Prix: Jim Robinson (white/yellow/blue Williams) is to the inside of the track, Gary Sturgeon (black John Player Lotus) is to the outside.

When the green flag dropped to start the race, the front row cars of J. Robinson and Sturgeon both boosted their Start Speed to 80 mph, both using wear since they were both on soft tires. As Jim Robinson was to the inside of the track on the starting grid, he moved first, opting to take the cornering arrow for the first turn, thus allowing Sturgeon to take the inside position (and the lead). Beckman’s 100 mph start availed him nought, as he had to brake down to 80 mph to stay behind the two leaders. (Note: If Beckman had pushed his start speed to 120 mph, he could have attempted a forced pass and could possibly have taken the lead.) Greg Lim also boosted his Start Speed of 60 mph t0 80 mph by using a wear. Mike Cook also had to slow to 80 mph from his Start Speed of 100. The top five cars had now opened a two-space gap over the rest of the field. In the back pack, both Landis and White were balked and had to forced decelerate from 60 to 40 mph.

Roaring off at the start of the Detroit G.P.

Roaring off at the start of the Detroit G.P. Sturgeon (black car) has taken the lead from J. Robinson. Then Beckman, Lim, and Cook are close behind the leaders. The 2nd pack is Kempen, Marlett, Landis, Kaluzny, White, Manderachia, B. Robinson, and Gould.

On the 2nd move, Sturgeon plotted 120 mph and went around the outside of the 1st turn. J. Robinson plotted 100 mph and stayed to the inside (thus retaking the lead). Both cars were ready to exit that corner. Lim was right behind J. Robinson’s tailpipe, while Beckman was right behind Sturgeon. Cook had moved just 80 mph (4 spaces on the track) and had just entered the corner. Then came the rest of the field, with B. Robinson lagging back a bit, just to see how things would sort out at this first corner.

Through the 1st corner.

Through the 1st corner, the running order is: J. Robinson; Sturgeon; Beckman; Lim; Cook; Kempen; Marlett; Manderachia (up 3 positions); Kaluzny; Landis (down 2 positions); White; Gould, and B. Robinson.

The pack roared down Atwater Street, then turned right onto Saint Antoine, turned right again onto E. Jefferson Ave., then followed the lazy left-hand curve onto Chrysler Drive, which is the service drive for the I-375 expressway. Then a sharp left-hand turn onto E. Congress Street came next. At the sharp left hand turn onto Beaubien, Sturgeon (+1) narrowly led Jim Robinson (-1). Then came Beckman (0), Cook (+1), Marlett (+2), Lim (-2), Kempen (-1), Manderachia (+3), Landis (-1), Kaluzny (-1), Gould (+2), White (-2), and Brian Robinson (-1). The +/- indicates how many positions a driver has gained (+) or lost (-) from their qualifying position.

Turning left at Beaubien for the 1st time.

Rolling down Congress St. and turning left at Beaubien St. for the 1st time. (Greg Lim photo)

After the left turn onto Beaubien came a right turn onto Larned St. Coming out of that corner, Jim Robinson regained the lead from Sturgeon. Then after a short straight, there was a left onto Woodward Avenue followed by a right onto W. Jefferson Ave. Just at the turn onto W. Jefferson, Beckman and Cook had got right up with J. Robinson and Sturgeon. Manderachia was up to 5th place, having gained 6 positions since the start of the race.

Turning onto W. Jefferson.

Turning onto W. Jefferson. The pack has bunched up.

The pack raced down the short straight on West Jefferson, passing the Pontchartrain Hotel on their right just before making a sharp left turn onto Washington Boulevard right in front of Cobo Hall (before it was renamed Cobo Center). They raced down the steep incline around Cobo Arena, then turned right at the more than 90-degree Kodak Camera Corner, followed quickly by a hard left turn onto Atwater. Into the Goodyear Tunnel under Hart Plaza for the first time, it was Sturgeon with a two-space lead over Jim Robinson. Then came Cook in 3rd, Beckman in 4th, then Manderachia, Marlett, Kempen, Landis, Kaluzny, Lim, Gould, White, and Brian Robinson.

Through the Goodyear Tunnel, Sturgeon leads the pack.

Through the Goodyear Tunnel, Sturgeon leads the pack.

Coming out of the Goodyear Tunnel, Sturgeon led the pack through the right-left Ford Corner, then Sturgeon was the first to pull into the pits. He was quickly followed by J. Robinson, Kempen, Manderachia, Landis, Marlett, and Gould. All of those cars switched from soft to hard tires.

The 1st pit stops are under way.

The 1st pit stops are under way. Although Sturgeon pulled into the pits first, technically Jim Robinson leads the first lap as his car’s nose is on the start/finish line.

A couple of turns after the leaders, the cars of Lim, White, and B. Robinson also pitted to switch from soft to hard tires. Cars not pitting were those of Beckman, Cook, and Kaluzny. The official order after one lap was: Jim Robinson (0); Beckman (+1); Cook (+2); Kaluzny (+5); Sturgeon (-3); Brian Robinson (+6); Lim (-3); Kempen (-2); Manderachia (+2); Landis (-2); Marlett (-4); Gould (+1); and White (-3). However, the running order after the pit stops at the end of the 1st lap were all completed was: Beckman, Cook, Sturgeon, J. Robinson, Kaluzny, Kempen, Manderachia, Landis, Marlett, Gould, B. Robinson, White, and Lim.

Running order after 1st pit stops.

Running order after 1st pit stops: Beckman in the red Ferrari leads from Cook in the yellow Lotus.

During the 2nd lap, the pack got stretched out after the pit stops. Beckman continued to lead for about a half lap, and then Cook took the lead on Larned St.

Cook passes Beckman on Larned St.

Cook passes Beckman on Larned St. Faces pictured: Tim Gould (at left); Jim Robinson (green shirt); Jim Landis (burgundy shirt); and Gary Sturgeon (gray shirt).

Cook takes the lead from Beckman

Cook (in the Green Bay cap and shirt) enjoys his lead over Beckman and the rest of the pack. Brian Robinson (Dodge sweatshirt) stands next to Cook.

But Beckman fought back going through the Kodak Camera Corner and through the left-hand corner leading into the Goodyear Tunnel, and retook the lead.

Gamers take their racing seriously!

Gamers take their racing seriously! Pictured, from left: Mike Manderachia; Tim Gould; Chad Marlett (standing); Mike Cook; Brian Robinson.

Beckman led through the Ford Corner and then into the pits where he was joined by Cook and Jim Robinson. J. Robinson was pitting for the 2nd time in the race. Garry Kaluzny was feeling frustrated that he couldn’t make it into the pits on the same turn, and his ending up two spaces short of being able to pit on the same turn with the leaders cost him, as when he did finally come out of the pits, the rest of the pack swallowed him up. Those four drivers all switched from hard to soft tires for the final lap.

The 2nd round of pit stops begin.

The 2nd round of pit stops begin. Beckman, Cook, and Jim Robinson have pulled off the track and into the pits. Kaluzny’s orange McLaren is two spaces short of being able to pit. The first space where cars can pull into the pits is the 60 mph space just this side of the orange barrel; the final space is at the lower edge of the picture, two spaces past the finish line.

Kaluzny did get some satisfaction after his next move, though, as when he did pull into the pits he was officially the leader of the 2nd lap, although that lead was very short-lived.

Kaluzny takes the lead after pulling into the pits.

Kaluzny takes the lead after pulling into the pits, as his car has reached the finish line. Too bad for him there is another lap to go!

When the cars in the pits finally got back on the track, Gary Sturgeon had built a 5-space lead over his closest pursuers, Marlett and Kempen.

Gary Sturgeon takes the lead!

Gary Sturgeon takes the lead at the start of the final lap!

The official order at the end of the 2nd lap was: Kaluzny (+8); Sturgeon (0); Marlett (+4); Kempen (+2); Beckman (-2); Manderachia (+5); Cook (-2); Landis (0); J. Robinson (-8); White (0); Gould (+2); B. Robinson (0); and Lim (-9). However, after the pit stops were well and truly sorted out, the running order on the track was: Sturgeon; Marlett; Kempen; Beckman; Manderachia; Cook; Landis; J. Robinson; White; Kaluzny; Gould; B. Robinson; and Lim.

Sturgeon's lead has shrunk to one space over Beckman.

Sturgeon’s lead has shrunk to one space over Beckman at the end of Congress St.

Beckman then made a supreme effort to pass Sturgeon, and succeeded by out-braking Sturgeon at the end of Larned Street. Beckman then did everything he could to hold his lead, while points leader Cook leap-frogged a couple of competitors and got into 5th place.

Beckman holds his lead over Sturgeon.

Beckman holds his lead over Sturgeon heading into the Goodyear Tunnel for the last time. Note that Marlett’s Red Bull has spun between the two orange McLarens of Kaluzny and Gould. (Greg Lim photo)

Kaluzny successfully made a forced pass of Marlett on the ramp leading down to the Kodak Camera Corner from Washington Blvd. Marlett attempted to block, but Kaluzny rolled low enough on the Forced Pass table to not only get by Marlett but Kaluzny also passed Jim Robinson with that same move. However, one of the dice showed a “3” which meant that the defending car (Marlett) had to lose a wear. But Marlett’s car was out of wear, and that meant his car spun out. (See the above picture to see Marlett’s Red Bull car facing the wrong way on the track.) Marlett had also spun on the previous corner, and the two spins dropped him from 5th to 8th, and then he fell further to 9th place by the time he got back up to speed.

The drama continued of what would be a nail-biting finish to the race! Through the Goodyear Tunnel, the 2nd Ferrari of Gary Kempen got by Gary Sturgeon’s Lotus, taking over 2nd place from Sturgeon. The two Ferraris held their side-by-side lead over the Lotus through the Ford Corner.

The Ferraris lead over Sturgeon's Lotus.

The Ferraris lead over Sturgeon’s Lotus with only one more chicane between them and the end of the race.

But the Ferraris were wear-deprived, and they both only went 80 mph through the chicane, leaving them both one space short of the finish line. Sturgeon pushed his car to its limit, going 120 mph through the chicane, and then he pulled off a successful forced pass of the Ferraris to win the race! It was Sturgeon’s first victory of his racing career, and it was a memorable one after starting 2nd on the grid. Beckman (+1) came home in 2nd, and Kempen (+3) was 3rd.

Sturgeon wins in the black Lotus.

Sturgeon wins in the black Lotus after forced passing the Ferraris.

The rest of the pack finished in a rather less dramatic fashion. Cook (+1) took 4th, then came Manderachia (+6) in 5th, and Jim Landis (+2) was 6th, the last car to finish in the points. Finishing out of the points were: Jim Robinson (-6) 7th; Garry Kaluzny (+1) 8th; Tim Gould (+4) 9th; Brian Robinson (+2) 10th; Chad Marlett (-4) 11th; and Richard White (-2) 12th. After Richard White spun in the final chicane, it caused Greg Lim (-9) to crash. Lim was thusly classified 13th, although he was officially a DNF.

The points awarded at the Detroit Grand Prix: Sturgeon 10; Beckman 6; Kempen 4; Cook 3; Manderachia 2; and Landis 1.

The updated points standings after five (of eight) races:

Place Driver (Car)                     Points
  1   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            29
  2   Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  25
  3   Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            21
  4   Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             18
  5   Richard White (Brabham)            14
  6   Jim Landis (Benetton)               6
  7T  Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)      4
  7T  Greg Lim (Motorola)                 4
  7T  Gary Kempen (Ferrari)               4
 10   Jim Robinson (Williams)             3
 11   Mike Manderachia (Ligier)           2
 12T  Russ Herschler (Minardi)            0
 12T  Chad Marlett (Red Bull)             0
 12T  Tim Gould (McLaren)                 0

The 6th race of the CFR-Detroit racing season will take place on Friday, February 9, 2018, at Guild of Blades at 774 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson, Michigan. The race will start at 7:00 pm sharp! So drivers should be there by 6:30 pm to settle in and to set up their car’s specifications for the race. We didn’t start the Detroit G.P. until 7:42 pm, and we had a difficult time getting the race’s three laps completed before the 11:00 pm closing time of RIW Hobbies & Games. It should be noted that Guild of Blades also has an 11:00 pm closing time, which is why we must start exactly on time, especially since we had 13 drivers at the race.

CFR Race #3: Monaco Grand Prix at Imperium Games

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

Eight drivers raced in the Monaco Grand Prix on Friday, November 10, 2017, at Imperium Games in Wixom, Michigan, using the board game rules for Championship Formula Racing (CFR). When the race was over, Mike Cook won the race, after he started in pole position. Gary Sturgeon finished 2nd, and Garry Kaluzny managed to hold onto 3rd place from Greg Lim.

The real track diagram of the Monte Carlo track.

The real track diagram of the Monte Carlo track.

Although the new CFR game comes with a game track of the Monte Carlo course, it is not accurate at all, so we used (as a basis) the version of that track that was published with one of the old Avalon Hill Accessory Pack tracks, although we modified the Avalon Hill track by adding the nouvelle chicane.

The Monte Carlo track we used to race on.

The Monte Carlo track we used to race on.

Surprisingly, the bidding for pole position was fairly sane, with the winning bid by Mike Cook being of 3 Wear and 1 Skill markers, for a total bid of 3.5. Two drivers (Jack Beckman and Gary Sturgeon) bid 3.0, three drivers (Jim Robinson, Brian Robinson, and Garry Kaluzny) bid 2.5, Then Greg Lim bid 2.0, and Richard White bid only 0.5. The starting grid and their car stats:

The starting grid and car specs:
 # Driver (Car)                    Start/Accel/Decel/Top/Wear/Skill/Tires
11 Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)          100   40    60   140  5x   2x   hard
 3 Jack Beckman (Ferrari)            60   60    60   160  4x   2x   hard
12 Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus) 20   60    60   160  5x   2x   soft
 2 Jim Robinson (Williams)           60   60    60   160  4x   2x   hard
 5 Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)    60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 9 Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)           60   60    40   140  5x   3x   soft
 7 Greg Lim (Motorola)               20   40    60   140  5x   4x   hard
 1 Richard White (Brabham)           60   40    40   140  5x   4x   hard

Start = Start Speed (in miles/hour); Accel = Acceleration (in mph); Decel = Deceleration (in mph); Top = Top Speed (in mph); Wear = # of Wear markers per lap raced; Skill = # of Skill markers per lap raced; Tires = hard or soft tires to begin the race. (Since the race was 3 laps, a car with 4x of Wear would receive 12 Wear markers to start the race (as an example).)

The starting grid for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The starting grid for the Monaco Grand Prix. Mike Cook is on the pole (yellow car); Jack Beckman is next to him (red car). 2nd row is Garry Sturgeon (black car) and Jim Robinson (white/blue/yellow car). Brian Robinson is the 3rd row, Garry Kaluzny is the 4th row, Greg Lim is the 5th row, and Richard White is the 6th row.

From the start, Mike Cook zoomed into the lead with his 100 mph start speed, followed closely by Jack Beckman’s Ferrari after Jack rolled dice to boost his start speed to 80 mph. Jim Robinson held 3rd, Brian Robinson pulled alongside Gary Sturgeon, then Garry Kaluzny had to slow down to 60 mph after boosting his start speed to 80 mph. Kaluzny rolled an unmodified start speed roll instead of using a wear (since he was on soft tires at the start, Kaluzny could have used a wear to boost his start speed), but rolled that unmodified start speed roll in hopes that he wouldn’t get the increased start speed. But, Kaluzny did get the increased start speed, then had to spend a wear to slow to 60 mph. Richard White passed Greg Lim at the start, due to Lim starting at only 20 mph, plus White boosted his start speed to 80 mph.

After the first move of the game.

After the first move of the game, Cook and Beckman jump into the lead.

After everyone got through the first corner at Ste. Devote, Jim Robinson passed Beckman for 2nd place going into the Massenet corner. Kaluzny also passed Brian Robinson for 5th place.

Heading into Massenet for the 1st time.

Heading into Massenet for the 1st time, Jim Robinson passes Beckman’s Ferrari to take 2nd place. Jim Robinson and Richard White look at the action on the track.

Then, heading into the sharp right-hand Mirabeau Haute corner, Sturgeon passed Beckman and took over 3rd place. Then Beckman fought back and passed both Sturgeon and J. Robinson to reclaim 2nd place going into the “Hairpin” (I still call it the Loews Hairpin, even though it has had many names over the years).

Into the "Hairpin" for the 1st time.

Into the “Hairpin” for the 1st time, Beckman reclaims 2nd place.

But then again, J. Robinson, Sturgeon, Kaluzny, and White all passed Beckman by the time the pack got through the Portier corner which led into the tunnel straightaway. J. Robinson pulled along Cook just before the Nouvelle Chicane, but then had to back off. Then Kaluzny made a pass of J. Robinson coming out of that chicane, and pulled alongside Cook as they were headed into the Tabac corner.

Through the Nouvelle Chicane.

Through the Nouvelle Chicane for the first time. Kaluzny (orange car) is alongside Cook (yellow car), then are Sturgeon (black car) and J. Robinson (white car), then the pack of Beckman (red), White (white/blue), B. Robinson (white/blue) and Lim (black/blue).

Through Tabac and the swimming pool series of corners, the pack pretty much stayed in the same order, except that White spun at Tabac.

Richard White spins at Tabac.

Richard White spins at Tabac.

White’s spin at Tabac didn’t hurt him too much, as only B. Robinson got past him there, but then Beckman’s Ferrari was able to force a pass on both B. Robinson and White just after exiting Tabac. Lim tried to force a pass on White after Tabac, but White slammed the door on Lim. Then at Rascasse, Cook and Kaluzny, got through a wee bit before J. Robinson and Sturgeon, and Cook and Kaluzny pulled into the pits for fresh tires. Meanwhile, White spun again, this time at Rascasse.

White spins at Rascasse

As the 1st lap is almost complete, White spins a 2nd time, this time at Rascasse, while Cook and Kaluzny pull off the track into the pits.

While Cook and Kaluzny were in the pits, the other six cars on the track all also pulled into the pits, making the first time in the CFR-Detroit racing series when all cars were in the pits at the same time.

All eight cars are in the pits

At the end of the 1st lap, all eight cars are in the pits at the same time.

While in the pits at the end of the 1st lap, Cook, J. Robinson, Beckman, Lim,  and White all switched from hard to soft tires, while Kaluzny, Sturgeon, and B. Robinson all changed from soft to hard tires. This meant that all drivers had fulfilled their obligation to drive on both different tire compounds during the race. After the pit stops, the official order after the 1st lap was Cook, Kaluzny, Sturgeon, J. Robinson, B. Robinson, Lim, Beckman, and White.

Coming out of Ste. Devote on the 2nd lap, Beckman tried to force a pass on Lim, but was balked and had to slow by 40 mph. Beckman had just had to spend three wear chits in going through the Ste. Devote corner, and then spent 2 more wear to slow, meaning he used up 5 wear in failing that forced-pass manuever, of which he only came out of the pits with 12 wear, so he used 42% of his wear allotment on that one corner. That huge wear expenditure was to haunt the Ferrari driver for the balance of the race. Beckman was able to get by Lim and before they reached the Massenet corner, though.

Kaluzny plots how to catch Cook

Garry Kaluzny (orange shirt and car) plots how to catch Cook’s yellow Lotus heading into the Mirabeau Haute corner. Jack Beckman looks on in his red Ferrari shirt.

 

The drivers at the Monaco Grand Prix

The drivers at the Monaco Grand Prix (clockwise, from left): Mike Cook, Jim Robinson, Richard White, Greg Lim, Gary Sturgeon, Brian Robinson, Jack Beckman.

As the lead cars of Cook and Kaluzny rolled through Portier and into the tunnel straight, Kaluzny tried to over-rev his engine, losing top gear and thus limiting his top speed to 120 mph for the rest of the race (about 1.5 laps remaining of the 3-lap race). Kaluzny opted to only use a single -1 Skill chit, then rolled an 11. If he had used two -1 Skill markers, he would have passed that dice roll. However, you must declare your use of Skill markers before you roll the dice. (Also, in hindsight, when you roll dice in CFR, if you pass the roll, you are driving brilliantly, but if you fail the roll, you simply screwed up!)

Heading towards the chicane on the 2nd lap

Heading towards the chicane on the 2nd lap, Kaluzny’s orange McLaren-Honda fails a top speed dice roll, thus limiting his top speed to 120 mph for the rest of the race. At the moment, Kaluzny leads J. Robinson by 4 spaces and Sturgeon by 6 spaces. (Gary Sturgeon photo)

Farther back in the pack, Beckman passed an unmodified Chance roll through Portier to take 7th place from B. Robinson, but then when Beckman took another unmodified Chance roll at the Nouvelle Chicane, he spun, thus allowing B. Robinson to regain 7th place.

Past the swimming pool corners the 2nd time, Cook stretched out his lead over Kaluzny to 5 spaces after Rascasse. Sturgeon, J. Robinson, and Lim were closing in on Kaluzny, and White, Beckman, and B. Robinson had fallen further behind.

Through Rascasse on the 2nd lap

Through Rascasse on the 2nd lap, Cook’s yellow Lotus leads by an increasing margin.

As the 2nd lap was nearly complete, most of the cars pitted again, all of the pittees switching back to or else installing a new set of soft tires. The sole exception was Brian Robinson, who opted to stay out on the track on his hard tires (thus regaining two wear). The official order after two complete laps was Cook, Kaluzny, Sturgeon, Lim (driving his best race so far), J. Robinson, B. Robinson, White, and Beckman.

Early in the 3rd lap, Cook stretches his lead

Early in the 3rd lap, Cook stretches his lead to 8 spaces over Kaluzny. Sturgeon is right behind Kaluzny’s tailpipe, then other cars are strung out behind.

After the 2nd lap pit stops got sorted out, Cook was enjoying a comfortable lead, and looked to have an easy victory ahead of him. Kaluzny was trying to keep Sturgeon’s John Player Lotus behind him, and Lim and J. Robinson were battling for 4th place. Sturgeon finally got his Lotus past Kaluzny’s McLaren at Massenet, although Kaluzny stayed right with Sturgeon until they got around Portier, when Sturgeon’s superior top speed enabled him to motor away towards a sure 2nd place. Also, Lim had got by J. Robinson at Massenet, thus taking 4th place.

Cook leads through the chicane on the last lap

Cook leads through the chicane on the last lap as Sturgeon, Kaluzny, and Lim battle just before the chicane.

Through the last few corners, Cook (0) won the race going away, enjoying an 11-space margin over 2nd-place Sturgeon (+1) at the finish line. Kaluzny (+3) managed to just nip Lim at the line for 3rd place, as Lim (+3) finished in the points, in 4th place, for the first time in his young driving career. Then Richard White (+3) came in 5th, having passed J. Robinson at the Rascasse corner. J. Robinson (-2) got the final points-paying position in 6th place. B. Robinson (-2) crossed the line in 7th, but Beckman (-6) crashed at the Anthony Noghes corner, the last corner on the track. Beckman’s crash was the first time a car failed to complete a race in the CFR-Detroit 2017-2018 season. The + or – numbers indicate how many positions that driver gained (+) or lost (-) from where their car qualified for the race.

Cook's Lotus crosses the finish line in victory

Cook’s yellow Lotus crosses the finish line in victory with a healthy margin over Sturgeon’s black Lotus.

The points awarded at the Monaco Grand Prix: Cook 10; Sturgeon 6; Kaluzny 4; Lim 3; White 2, J. Robinson 1.

Top finishers lined up in the pits

Top finishers lined up in the pits: Cook, Sturgeon, Kaluzny, Lim, White, and J. Robinson. B. Robinson’s car is still on the track, and the wrecker and ambulance attend to Beckman and his wrecked Ferrari. (Greg Lim photo)

The updated points standings after three (of eight) races:

Place Driver (Car)                     Points
  1   Garry Kaluzny (McLaren)            17
  2   Mike Cook (Camel Lotus)            16
  3T  Jack Beckman (Ferrari)             12
  3T  Gary Sturgeon (John Player Lotus)  12
  5   Richard White (Brabham)             8
  6   Jim Landis (Benetton)               5
  7   Brian Robinson (Walker Racing)      4
  8   Greg Lim (Motorola)                 3
  9   Jim Robinson (Williams)             1
 10   Russ Herschler (Minardi)            0

The next race, The Belgian Grand Prix (at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit) of the 2017-2018 CFR-Detroit racing season will be on Friday, December 8th, at Pandemonium Games & Hobbies at 6033 Middlebelt Road in Garden City, Michigan. Race time is 7:00 pm.

Making a 1:64 Scale Track — Part 2 — Marking the Track on the Sheet

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

In this blog post, we’ll tape our sheet to the table, then lay out the track sections again. Read Part 1 of Making a 1:64 Scale Track to see how we arrived here. Note that you can make a similar track for other scales of cars. If you use something like 1:43 scale, you would have to adjust the size of the spaces (and a full track probably wouldn’t fit on a sheet). You could of course make large tracks on foam-core board, or other material. Part of the reason we went with 1:64 scale cars originally is that in the 1980s, when we starting making the large tracks, Hot Wheels cars were the easiest cars to find. We also found that most of Avalon Hill’s Accessory Pack tracks would fit on a sheet at 1:64 scale.

So, I finished washing and drying my twin bed flat sheet, then stretched it out on my ping-pong table, and then taped it so it would stay fairly tight so it would avoid wrinkling while I marked it up. I laid out the former track sections on the sheet, but the outline just didn’t look quite right to me.  In particular, some of the corners on the real track were sharp, 90-degree turns, while the templates I used for 90-degree turns were more gradual and rounded. So, I then printed out the actual track file using the Acorn program (from Flying Meat Software), then taped some sections together, then laid them on the table on top of the former outline. That original track plan is with the red stripe down its middle.

The new track outline is on top of the old track outline.

The new track outline is on top of the old track outline.

It was very apparent that the new outline seemed much smaller than the former outline.

The new track outline is smaller than the old track outline.

The new track outline is smaller than the old track outline.

The former outline that I used was based on templates, where all of the straight pieces had spaces that were 3″ long by 1.75″ wide, and the template corner spaces had been printed so my 1:64 cars would fit on them without encroaching on the spaces of other cars. When I printed the actual track outline (with the red stripe), I printed it at 775% of my original file’s size. That made most of the straight spaces 3″ long, but it also meant that the corner spaces were too small. If you had more than one car in a corner area, the cars would interfere with each other. Since you can only paint the track once, it is better to resolve any issues in this, the planning stage! Naturally, I had to cut out these new track sections and tape some of them together with clear cellophane tape. Note that I cut close to the track outline as eventually I will trace around the track outline with a pencil. If I just placed the printed pages on the sheet, I would have to cut them later before I could trace the edges, and that would then put pieces out of alignment.

Now, of course, the table top was too cluttered, so I picked up all of the template sections and left just the new track outline pieces on the table.

Track outline sections.

Track outline sections.

I then measured from the different edges of the track, and tried to center the sections as much as possible. This is not only for aesthetics, but for practicality, as when playing Championship Formula Racing, each driver needs to lay out their cards without laying them on the track. While you should try to leave an open “border” around all edges of the track, that won’t be possible with some tracks.

Measuring from the edges to center the track on the sheet.

Measuring from the edges to center the track on the sheet.

I then centered the pieces, and placed them together to see how it looked.

The centered track.

The centered track.

Now comes the task of checking how the 1:64 scale cars fit. Get out your scale cars and see how they fit on actual parts of the track outline.

Cars fit on the straight sections.

Cars fit on the straight sections.

It looks like the straight sections are long enough for my Greenlight IndyCars to fit. I also tested the sections with my old Hot Wheels open-wheel race cars that are the same length as the newer Greenlight cars. Note that the printed track is narrower than I will paint the finished track. The proportion of the rectangles for a poster-board size track is different than I want for my large track. When I design a poster-board size track, I make the straight spaces 1″ long by 0.5″ wide. That usually works well with small race cars. However, for the large track, I make spaces that are 3″ long by 1.75″ wide. That means that when I trace around the edge of the finished track layout, I will have to do a little more marking.

Now, to check the fit in a corner. Oh-oh! The corner spaces are too small!

Cars don't fit in the corners.

Cars don’t fit in the corners.

While the #3 car in the picture above fits on the inside space, the two cars on the outside of the corner (which is two spaces long) don’t fit into their spaces. This means I will have to allow for more space. In years past, I would just move the straight track sections a little and “fudge” or estimate the new corner area. I would put a clean piece of paper under the corner area, and pencil in where the lines should go. But this time, I decided to go back and reprint the corner sections. I printed the corners at 900% (instead of 775%) of original this time, and they printed just about right.

But before I reprinted the corners, I substituted the template pieces.

Cars on template sections.

Cars on template sections.

Using the template sections, I can see that the cars will fit. Of course, by allowing for a longer corner section in this area of the track (this is turns 1 and 2, just past the start-finish line), it will affect the alignment of other parts of the track.

Another part of the track where the cars don't fit.

Another part of the track where the cars don’t fit.

I also found a part of the track that was in a “U” shape also didn’t fit the cars well, not for the curvy-“straight” sections nor in the actual numbered corner spaces. So I had to re-print that entire section. And even after I printed that section at 900%, some of the spaces were still too short. So, I spliced in a couple of pieces of paper to “expand” that section slightly, and also used a permanent marker to mark new lines between the spaces.

Splices added and spaces re-marked in the "U" section.

Splices added and spaces re-marked in the “U” section.

After checking all of the sections so that the cars would fit the spaces (particularly in the corners), and rechecking the track alignment (also  re-centering the track sections on the sheet), it is time to tape down the track sections so they don’t move when you mark off the outline of the track. I just use small pieces of masking tape to tack down the track sections. I’ll usually just use four small pieces of tape per track section to ensure that section doesn’t move when I mark its outline on the sheet.

Taping the sections of the track.

Taping the sections of the track.

Note that the above track sections were printed at two different scales, which is why they don’t line up along their outside edge. Since I am using the inside border of the track as a reference, that is not critical.

Now is the time to mark the outline of the track. Use a pencil for the “first pass” as if you make any mistakes, you can easily correct them! At first, I only marked off the inside edge of the track sections, as that was my “reference” point. Some of the printed track sections that I used for laying out the track were not wide enough, so I had to make sure that I marked the track as wide as it needs to be for each section. Remember that I am making each space 1.75″ wide, so if the track is “2-wide” (meaning the track is two spaces wide) in an area, then the total track width is 3.5″. (Sorry, I didn’t warn you there would be math involved in painting a large-scale track!) If a track section is “3-wide” (three lanes side by side), then the total track width is 5.25″ in that area. I use the straight edge to check the width of a section before marking the outside lines of the track.

Using a ruler to check the track width.

Using a ruler to check the track width.

In the above picture, I am making pencil “tick” marks where the 5.25″ outer edge of the track will be for this 3-wide section. I had to do this because of the varying scale of my template pieces. Even if you have perfectly sized templates, you should check the width of your track before masking and painting it. After making tick marks in an area, I used a pencil to “connect the dots (ticks).” When I was satisfied with the pencil inside and outside borders, then I went over the pencil marks with a permanent marker.

Outlining the track with a permanent marker.

Outlining the track with a permanent marker.

When the outlining was completed, I removed the paper templates. I removed the small pieces of tape from the templates, then stacked them carefully out of the way, in order, as I will need them again to aid in actually painting the lines for the spaces on the track (see Part 3 of this series).

The completed permanent marker outline of the track.

The completed permanent marker outline of the track.

Note that there is a pit lane to the left. Although Championship Formula Racing doesn’t use a formal “pit lane,” we are thinking of using our older Speed Circuit era pit stop rules, and we would need to drive down pit lane. I felt it would be easier to add the pit lane at this time, rather than to try to add it at a later time, when I would have to re-mask the track and paint part of it again. Towards the right side of the picture I also made an adjustment so a 3-wide straightaway section could blend into a 2-wide corner.

The track outline has been masked with tape.

The track outline has been masked with tape.

Next, we will need to cover all parts of the sheet with newspapers (or whatever you have on hand) and then tape it down to the inside and outside track outline, and then we’ll start painting. That process will be continued in Part 3 – Painting the track.

Championship Formula Racing demo races, July 1, 2017

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

On Saturday, July 1, 2017, I ran four more demo races of Championship Formula Racing, trying to attract more regular racers for our upcoming season of races (that should begin in September). I ran two races at the monthly first Saturday boardgame Meetup group at the Canton Public Library in Canton, Michigan, then later in the day I ran two more races at the Warriors 3 game store in Wayne, Michigan.

I got to the Canton library just before they opened the meeting room for us boardgamers at noon. Meeting me there were Greg Lim and Jim Robinson. We quickly set up four folding tables together so we could place one of our large scale race tracks on that group of tables. I had just borrowed four more large tracks from Richard White on Thursday, two nights previous.

For our first race, we had eight racers, and we raced on the Monza, Italy track. This large track is based on the mid-1980s Monza track from Avalon Hill’s Accessory Pack tracks from that era. It has not been modified for the newer Monza changes. But we all race on the same track, n’est-ce pas?

Racing on the Monza, Italy track at the Canton Public Library.

Racing on the Monza, Italy track at the Canton Public Library. (Greg Lim photo)

After we completed the first race at Monza, I asked folks if they wanted to race the 2nd race on a different track, but they wanted to race the Monza track again. One of the drivers from the first race dropped out, as he wanted to play some other board games at the library, but we added two other drivers, so the 2nd race had nine drivers. That was the most drivers we have had (so far) for our demo races.

The last lap of the 2nd Monza race at the Canton library.

The last lap of the 2nd Monza race at the Canton library. Brian Robinson (center, in the gray t-shirt) comtemplates how he can win the race from his then 2nd place on the track.

Brian Robinson won that 2nd Monza race. Brian is relatively new to the Speed Circuit/Championship Formula Racing type games, but he is driving like an old pro. I told him at the end of the evening after the last race at Warriors 3 that I no longer considered him a rookie, but an “old pro” driver.

After that 2nd race at the Canton library, Greg and Jim and I went to a local fast food place for some dinner. (If you’re going to drive “fast” in racing games, you should eat “fast” food, eh?) Then we got to the Warriors 3 game store in Wayne, Michigan, in plenty of time to arrange four folding tables together to make room to set up another large track. I set up the Silverstone, England track.

The Silverstone, England track.

The Silverstone, England track.

While we were setting up the 1:64 scale race cars on the track while we were waiting for some other racers to arrive, a three-year old boy, Thomas, came over to our table. He was determined to play with our 1:64 scale cars! We first moved the cars from one side of the table to the other, but then Thomas tried to climb on top of the table to get to the cars. I was afraid of Thomas falling off the table and injuring himself. Finally, though, Thomas’ father called him away from us. The father was playing in a different game in a different area of the same large gaming room. Anyway, we were relieved, as our 1:64 scale cars are definitely not toys, and would not survive without damage from being handled by a three-year-old!

Racing on the Silverstone track.

Racing on the Silverstone track. Garry Kaluzny in the red shirt at left. (Greg Lim photo)

It should be noted that our race on the Silverstone track was also based on the mid-1980s configuration of that real-life track. In CFR game terms, I built my car to have 60 mph Acceleration and Deceleration, and a 180 mph Top Speed. You can pretty much drive either 120 mph or 180 mph every turn on this track configuration. Centered in the picture above is Ian, a young guy visiting the Detroit area from his home in Kentucky. Although he had never played CFR (nor Speed Circuit), he pretty quickly grasped the strategy to use. His downfall was taking too many early chances on cornering, and a spinout dropped him back in the race. If he wouldn’t have spun, though, he would have been a tough competitor.

After the Silverstone race was complete, we had time to race once more. We switched to the Monaco track for that last race of the evening. We had the same six drivers from the Silverstone race competing.

Half a lap left to race on the Monte Carlo track at Monaco.

Half a lap left to race on the Monte Carlo track at Monaco.

Ian took the early lead from the pole position, although I was hot on his heels from my front row position. The first time at the Casino/Station/Loews hairpin turn, I got the inside position from Ian, meaning I got to move first the next turn, so I took over the lead.

Jack stands to move the cars, while Garry tries to stay ahead of Brian's car on the last lap at Monaco.

Jack stands to move the cars, while Garry tries to stay ahead of Brian’s car on the last lap at Monaco. (Greg Lim photo)

On the last lap, I had to hold back Brian’s car. With about a half-lap left to race, I had only 3 Wear remaining, while Brian had 7 Wear. At the finish line, Brian pulled alongside my car, but I nipped him by a nose at the end. Whew! I had to make two cornering Chance dice rolls late in the race, using my two -3 Skill chits.

Although the day was long, I believe everyone had fun racing in the different races. We added another six names to our CFR email list. We now have about 30 names on the list, but not all of them will race in our upcoming season. Some folks, such as Brian, have been using the frequent demo races to gain a lot of experience in racing CFR. When the season starts in September, I expect some close competition!

We will have another demo race on July 7, 2017, at Imperium Games in Wixom. Imperium Games used to be Flat Land Games, but they had a recent change of ownership. That demo race will start at 7:00 pm, and will be a 3-lap race. All of the demo races on July 1 were only 2-lap races, as they were intended to be used for teaching the game mechanics. Shorter races mean you can run more races in a day, plus if someone were to crash out of a race, they wouldn’t have to wait as long to get back into the next race. Surprisingly, though, every racer (including me!) finished every race, in spite of multiple chances being taken by rolling dice!

Check our CFR-Detroit web page for more info about upcoming Championship Formula Racing races in the Detroit, Michigan, metro area.

Posted by Garry